Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why all my favorite people are ending up with metal in their mouths...

Welcome to the first post of 2014!  Dances with Lyons into its ninth year...hard to believe how much has gone on since that first post back on New Year's Eve in 2005.
It feels kind of strange having had a blog that long, given how much the world of technology, communication, and social media has changed since then.  When I first started writing this, I'm pretty certain that "social media" wasn't a known term.  And now, it kind of dominates the way in which we talk to, connect to, stay in touch with, and learn from one another.   #crazy
(related, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's hashtag clip really makes me laugh)

This post is actually going back to basics for me, to fill my loyal readership (yes, all four of you!) in on the inner workings of our lives and to make a connection to something I see happening in the world beyond ours that strikes me as interesting.

The topic today is therefore - metal in the mouth!  I had to take Blake to the dentist on Tuesday for part two of a 5-part journey to eradicate his mouth of cavities which have crept up on us like some cartoon style robber in the past 6 months.  I won't go into the whole saga, but we found out late last year that his poor little sweet baby teeth had six or seven cavities, and because he had been complaining they were hurting him, it definitely had to be taken care of.  Matt took him for his first filling two weeks ago when I was away on a work trip, so Tuesday was my first time to see how brave he was in the chair - getting just a local numbing anesthetic in order to get a crown on one tooth and being SUCH a brave guy.  I was really so proud of him.

The dentist and I hadn't talked about it - and I probably made an assumption based on what it was costing - but the crown is silver.  And when I realized that that big silver crown (and not a more subtly-shaded, porcelain one) was going into his small little mouth, my heart sank.  Blake loves laughing - I mean, he's a kid and he has a lot of fun, and I just had an image of him laughing a big wide-open-mouthed laugh and his friends teasing him about what that big honkin' chunk of shiny stuff was where his tooth should be.  After it was all said and done, I asked the dentist in my attempt at casual: "I guess you don't do white crowns?" and got an explanation related to the difference between crowns for adults and children and how really (at least here in the UK, I should add), they use silver for kids because of what they'd have to do to get the tooth ready for a porcelain crown.  It was firmly planted in his mouth, so there wasn't much I could do about it at that point, except to give Blake lots of praise for how well he'd done and remind myself that no pain is way better than any possible teasing he might get at being a 5-year-old whose teeth don't look the way they started off.

So on the bright side, his teeth will stop hurting him, and thus far it looks like he'll get to keep them - having them extracted could have been a worse fate.  Hopefully he'll keep laughing with a huge wide open mouth and nobody will take too much notice.  I guess it was just a further reminder of how each day, he - and Noah - gets bigger, less like a baby and more like a grown-up child.  I'm sure I'll blink and he'll be getting fitted with braces.  But also just that sense of wanting him to not ever be harmed by the cruelty of words, or to stand out for being different in a way that he's not comfortable with.  And even now, as I write that, I think - hang on, I do want him to be different, to make his own unique mark, to not conform, to be known and recognized for his gifts and talents.  But, I guess I want that without any of the meany teasing!  Just like any other parent, then, I'm sure....

And, if ever it's nice to get some reassurance from one of my favorite people - even if I've never understand the concept of grills, at all! - if Madonna wants to have a mouth full of metal, then surely Blake's having a couple of silver crowns is not the worst thing. 

Maybe in a few weeks all the kids at his school will be begging their parents for silver in their teeth...let's hope not for their sake, of course. Things are very different in our kitchen since this diagnosis - we've massively reduced the amount of sugar and sweet things the boys can have, and thus far they've both done really well.  But still, it isn't fun.

In the meantime, I'd encourage brushing and flossing - and always, always keep smiling!