Kaylee had her first dentist appointment yesterday. The news was not good. She has cavities.
After the appointment, the first thing the dentist told me was cut out white flour and sweets as much as possible. I didn't want to cause an argument but was genuinely concerned on how I could help Kaylee not get anymore cavities, so I told her we don't buy any white flour products already, and sweets are very limited. So she went on to tell me I should limit snacks of all types and limit fruits. I said that Kaylee's doctor wanted her to eat as much healthy food as possible because she had some issues with gaining weight. But she didn't really have anymore advice for me, she didn't seem like she was in too good of a mood at that point.
I felt so horrible, like she was blaming me for this, and completely doubting my desire to do better in the future. I have brushed Kaylee's teeth every day since she had one half of a tooth poking out of her gums. I admit there were some days where she fell asleep and I didn't get in her night brushing. But I am very into eating healthy. I get whole grain products, try to buy organic, wash fruits and veggies before we eat them, make sure everyone in the family takes multi-vitamins, do not buy junk food or candy, etc.
My mom raised me to be healthy, she used to be a personal trainer who also studied nutrition. We only shopped at health food stores growing up and I do it as much as possible now, given our lack of funds. So to be treated as if we lived on white bread and candy... It didn't feel too good. I told myself I wasn't taking it personally but by the end, I felt close to tears. And I wanted to tell her NO you awful woman, I will NOT starve my kid in between meals, I'd rather her grow up to have dentures! Yeah, I guess I get a little dramatic when upset lol.
I got a referral to get Kaylee's cavities filled and left feeling pretty upset because I have no clear game plan. I don't know how to proceed now because I can NOT bring myself to deny her food if she's hungry. I couldn't tell any kid no if they were hungry, let alone a kid who has had so much trouble gaining weight for the past year. My pediatrician was this close to diagnosing her with failure to thrive!! But at least my pediatrician never makes me feel like we as parents are to blame, she knows and appreciates that we're doing the best we can.
All I can think now is we'll do away with grazing. I'll offer food at certain times throughout the day and take them away if they're not finished. I will give her an extra snack if she requests it, but if she wanders off, I'll take it away. I'll brush her teeth twice a day since I was told anymore can actually be BAD for the gums, and any fruit will be shortly before I'm going to brush her teeth. I think what I'm going to have to do is really go with my gut and my own research on this, instead of listening to the word of her dentist and doctor... Because obviously, I can't listen to both if they disagree!
Oh and did I mention I'm freaking out about her being put under to get the cavities filled. Oy vey, motherhood is so stressful sometimes! There's so much joy, but it comes with so much worry...