Nothing screams ‘bad mom’ like toddler cavities

I took my three year old to her first dentist appointment today. She’s actually almost four and not a toddler at all. According to my dentist, I should’ve taken her for her visit when she was two. I know this because I have two other kids, neither of whom made it to the dentist at age two. All their teeth are going to fall out, right, so what’s the point?



I’m just kidding, I know the point. Good habits! Also to make sure gums are healthy and stay healthy. The philosophy is preventative care, catching problems early and avoiding problems altogether.

Or you could be cynical and say because of fluoride in the water, kids don’t get cavities like they used to and dentists still need to make a living.

Frankly, the main reason my youngest child hasn’t been to the dentist is scheduling. Every time I tried to make an appointment for all three kids, my head would spin and the receptionist and I would give up.

So the good news is… no cavities. All three kids! Nothing screams “bad mom” like your little kid’s cavities, so I’m cool, right?

Actually, no. Not by most dentists’s standards, certainly not according to my kids’s dentist.

The dentist gave my kids and me a giant, smiley tooth packet which reads:

The way you eat also affects your teeth…Foods that are sticky or gummy really hang on to your teeth. Starchy foods, like crackers, chips, and cereal, and foods with sugars in them like dried fruits, candy, and cookies, also can be a problem. One solution is to brush after every time you eat. Another is not to snack often.

I was asked:

Do my kids drink juice? Yes

Do my kids snack? Yes.

Do my kids eat candy? Yes, whenever and whatever they want though I didn’t put it quite that way. Why pick a fight, right?

We were also given a yellow piece of paper with two columns: good snacks and bad snacks and told to avoid refined sugars and starches.

Though I teach my kids about nutrition, I have done everything in my power not to divide foods into “good” and “bad.”

Basically my kids have the same eating and brushing habits I do, which isn’t rocket science. Even the dentist form I filled out out asks about the mother’s cavities in the past year and the dentist also asked me if I flossed my own teeth.

Like my kids, I eat what I want, when I want. I would summarize it this way: my teeth are important to me, but they are not the most important thing to me. Teeth are the most important thing to your dentist. They should be, she’s a dentist. But if you follow her advice, is that the life you want to lead?

I go to a great dentist, and if he had his way, I would get X-rays once a year (too pricey and why get “tiny amounts” of radiation?) He wants to fit me for a mouth guard to wear at night because I clench my jaw. He says a mouth guard would protect my teeth. I told him I was sure he was right, but that I know myself and there was no way I would wear a mouth to ensure that kind of perfection.

I don’t think of myself as lax when it comes to my teeth. I brush at least twice a day, I floss every night, I get my teeth professionally cleaned every four months. My kids do the same, except they regularly miss check ups which I regularly reschedule. Teeth, while important (and I know gums affect the heart and all that) are not the most important; I take my dentist’s advice with a cube of sugar.

One more thing I’m not a fan of at the dentist’s office: the stickers:


This made me sad about my daughter who loves Batgirl. It’s only a matter of time before she realizes that her superhero is invisible and caves to Ponyworld.




19 thoughts on “Nothing screams ‘bad mom’ like toddler cavities

  1. If you still want to know about the Bronies, there’s a documentary that just came out called “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony”, hosted by John deLancie.

    Here’s a song & animation from the documentary:

  2. Actually, having healthy teeth shouldnt just be important to your dentist, it should be to you too. I am a dental assistant, and i have seen the worst. People coming in with their teeth rotting out of their mouths and the only reason they come in is because 1. Theyre in pain or 2. They have been feeling ill and their own doctor was told to come see us because in all likelihood, their rotting infected teeth was causing other problems. Yes, your oral health has alot of impact on your over all health. Cavities, if they get back enough can cause heart problems, blood infections, bacterial infections in the body etc. eating what you want is not the issue, it is how you take care of them. Flossing, and brushing after every meal is best when eating said foods. Drinking juice and pop all the time sits on the teeth and causes the rotting, especially at night. None of this makes a person a bad mother, but it does make you disinformed and uneducated in the subject if you honestly believe why listen to the dentist

    • Hi Ammm,

      Healthy teeth are important to me, just not the most important thing to me. My overall health is the most important to me, teeth play a role in that. It’s like healthy eating is important to me but I do not obsess or preoccupy myself with “healthy” food.


  3. I feel a little sad every time you mention that your daughter’s favorite character is Batgirl. Because even in a world without that gender distinction, Batgirl is still a sidekick. She’s still lesser than the “original”. Those ponies might not be perfect but at least as far as I can tell (never having watched the show) they take the lead in their stories.

  4. Look up Bronies. Adult appreciators of My Little Pony Show. LIttle bit scary.

    Also, my daughter has heaps of cavities because she had a lot of chest infections and asthma as a toddler and it took all the enamel off her adult teeth. It’s quite common and in no way an indication of bad parenting. šŸ™‚

    • Hi, brony speaking here.
      We are not scary! For the most part it is a sincere appreciation of the amazing programme! I find this no weirder than someone of the same age watching Spongebob or old Disney movies or playing Pokemon. It’s just because of the unfortunately bad older generations of the franchise… Once Lauren Faust took over everything got much better.
      I know the main reason I call myself a brony is because of the community. Bronies are some of the nicest people I have ever met and watching MLP has definitely made me a better person. And the fandom has definitely inspired much creative masterpieces.
      Like this one.
      I mean seriously, if my dentist had Pinkie Pie stickers I would go take a whole bunch of them and then put them all over my notebooks!

      • I need one of you to do a guest post on Reel Girl and tell us what you love. Are there any episodes in particular I should watch?


        • This is just ME, personally, but in no particular order…

          “Suited for Success” – On the surface, this episode is about a fashion show, but it’s really about an artist (in this case, dressmaker Rarity) having to design crappy clothing in order to appease her clients (aka her friends). The writers and animators involved in this show admits that this was their way of expressing their frustration with the cartoon industry.

          “Boast Busters” – Actually not that great except for the incredibly hammy Great and Powerful Trixie. However, there’s a sequel episode that I enjoy (more on that later)

          “Winter Wrap Up” – If only for the incredibly catchy song.

          “Feeling Pinkie Keen” – Just a warning that the lesson expressed at the end caused a minor controversy. However, this one is just plain funny. It’s more or less a tribute to Tex Avery slapstick; at one point, a girl unicorn gets smashed in the head with an anvil, Looney Tunes-style.

          “A Dog and Pony Show” – Subversion of the “Damsel in Distress” trope.

          “Sisterhooves Social” – Anyone with younger siblings can relate to this episode. Rarity has a spat with her younger sister.

          “It’s About Time” – Another comedy-centric episode with little-to-no moral. It’s really funny.

          “Putting Your Hoof Down” – An episode about how to be properly assertive.

          “Too Many Pinkie Pies” – Just plain funny. Pinkie Pie clones herself, annoying everyone in Ponyville.

          “Magic Duel” – This is a sequel to “Boast Busters”. A fan-favorite character returns to get revenge on the main character for the events that occurred in the earlier episode.

          “Dragon Quest” – Spike, the only male character in the show, realizes that for all his life he’s been living with girly ponies, so he decides to go hang out with manly teenage dragons. It didn’t go well.

          The whole gender issue is never mentioned. That’s just my synopsis.

          “Sleepless in Ponyville” – Good character development for Scootaloo.

          “One Bad Apple” – About bullying.

  5. Reassuring comments re pony world. My girls are pony crazy and I just assumed it was more gender crap (bad mother alert – haven’t had time to watch it myself).

  6. You should watch the new “My Little Pony” cartoon. It’s actually a great cartoon for girls (and boys. There are actually boys who love the show).

    There are over 60 episodes aired so far, so you have your pick.

    One two-part storyline had John deLancie voicing the bad guy. That alone makes the entire show worth it.

    • The creator’s message with the show is that there are no wrong way to be a girl, so you have everyone from nerdy bookworm Twilight, braggart and athletic Rainbow Dash, country farm girl Applejack (who KICKS ASS!), energetic Pinkie Pie, animal expert Fluttershy, and artist Rarity.

      I wish more feminists give this show a chance. It’s not perfect, but it’s probably one of the more progressive children’s shows in production.

    • Hi CAB,

      People keep telling me this! It’s so hard for me to get past the look and the names, but I’ll try..


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