Sunday 16 September 2012

Guilty of neglect.....

Yes me.

It came as a bit of a shock.
It is not a label that I would ever have given to myself, well not in regard to parenting anyway. I think I am a pretty good parent, not perfect but good enough certainly.
It does appear that good enough parents can be guilt of neglect too. Not total neglect of my children you understand.  There is no need to go ringing social services or anything like that.  Nope, the neglect I am guilty of is looking after JJ’s teeth.  A few weeks back he had to have 2 fillings in his big teeth and that means they are now there forever.  That’s pretty crap isn’t it?  A 9 year old should not have fillings.  There should be no need for that.  It is not like he has sweets every day and has an awful diet, he doesn’t.  So it is down to looking after his teeth, or lack of looking after them more to the point.

Shall I tell you want I am really guilty of? Treating JJ as if he is older than he is, forgetting he is just a little boy.  My JJ is so lovely that since the twins were born 5 years ago he has learnt to be more self-sufficient - he can shower himself, help the twins, sort his room and brush his teeth or so I thought.

I neglected to do my job properly.  As Mummy I am supposed to get him to open his mouth and to examine how the teeth brushing is going but when he moved downstairs and took his toothbrush down to the bathroom downstairs that got overlooked. So busy was I upstairs with the smaller twins making sure their teeth were perfect that my first baby got overlooked. Yes we play games together and have fun but what is fun if I am not doing the fundamentals?
Thank the Lord that JJ is now old enough to understand that he should not be having fillings at his age and he is starting to take his dental hygiene much more seriously and dh and I are checking his efforts and making sure to constantly remind him. I do not want him to have to go through the agony of fillings again.  I had an internal battle as he sat in that dentist chair and my heart ripped as I saw my boys toes curl as the injection went in and then it swelled as he was so brave and did not shed one tear.

I feel ashamed that my boy has had fillings at his age but I also felt compelled to share it as I expect it happens to others too and you never hear anything about it.  I would hate to think any decent parent was out there thinking they were the only one who neglected to look after their little ones teeth.
I decided to google ‘child fillings statistics’ and see what came up.  Am I really alone?  I stumbled upon this article from the Guardian just last week and shockingly it reveals that more than one million children under five have at least two fillings and apparently 47% of children under 12 have been told they have tooth decay. Isn’t that appalling? I’m not the only parent but that certainly does not make me feel any better.

Moral of this story, check your kids teeth every day. JJ goes to the dentist with us every six months regular as clockwork and in just the last six months two teeth have managed to decay enough that he needed these fillings.

Go on now – brush, brush……
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