Heartbreaking Reality of Allergies & a Trip to the Dentist
Today has been a rubbish day. Today is the day that I dread more than any other and it happens about every 3 months – today was dentist day – not for me but for Millie. My poor little Millie, who at 6 years old she already has 4 ‘shiny princess teeth’ (metal caps) and fillings in various others. Everytime we go she has to have something done and this time was no exception, this time we got the news that one of her back adult teeth is already so fragile that she needs major filling just to try and save it.
Now I can hear you all yelling at the computer screen about what an awful mother I must be to have a 6 year old with so many fillings and caps already, asking how many times a week she must eat sweets and certain that she probably doesn’t use her toothbrush if we’ve even bothered to buy her one. I wouldn’t blame you and its nothing we haven’t heard from dentists over the years. One even went as far as calling us a liar and saying that we were lucky we hadn’t had her taken away from us. The only problem with all of that… Millie religiously cleans her teeth – Every. Single. Day! I’m so gutted for her, everytime we go and the other two get praised for having perfect teeth (despite Alys doesn’t usually touch a toothbrush) I don’t know what to say to her, I have no idea how to explain it all to her.
Today was not one of my finest moments, after the girls had finished, hubby took them out to the waiting room for my check up and I had a minor meltdown, poor dentist, she is lovely, luckily! She is thinking that it could be allergy related as even painting with fluoride gel isn’t making any difference to the speed they are falling apart. And I’ll be honest that doesn’t make me feel any better as I know its me she has got it from but my own teeth are fine, I’m well over 30 and don’t have any fillings infact apart from staining from taking the steroids over the years they are all perfect!
There are a few things she has suggested that could be responsible including drinking oat milk and Nursery/School’s dairyfree menu containing little or no calcium and their insistence on using fruit as a dessert! We are persisting with adult toothpaste, mouthwash and disclosing tablets until Millie is a little older and then the dentist is thinking about prescribing a very strong fluoride toothpaste but she is reluctant to do so due to long term side effects. There is balance between long term risk of health side effects of this treatment and the relatively minimal health related side effects of losing her teeth completely.
At least though she is willing to try everything to save her teeth, Millie even goes to see a specialist dentist who took x-rays as assured us that her adult teeth had formed in her gums and were looking strong & healthy. Our dentist is going to monitor her with 3 monthly appointments as Millie likes her and hopefully the hopsital will see her again soon. I think the worst thing for me is that I worry that problem stems from her actually losing calcium from her teeth despite our best efforts at shovelling it in her as much as possible! And if she is losing it from her teeth where else is she losing it from??
Honestly its just another in the long line of things noone ever tells you about when you have babies with allergies!
So here are the tips we have picked up over the years from various medical & dental types, sadly it doesn’t feel like any of these have helped Millie but I like to think its partly why the other two Peachicks have such good teeth! (Take advice from your medical & dental teams as to whether any of these are appropriate for you or your littlies!)
1. Allergyfriendly meals & snacks must be similar in nutrition – particularly where calcium is concerned. Although supplements are one alternative, they are not always absorbed in the same way as natural sources. (Also remember the Vitamin D otherwise the calcium will not be absorbed properly) Nothing annoys me more than Nursery & School’s insistence that meals should look the same so the kids don’t feel like they are missing out!!! Finishing a meal with some form of calcium will help protect teeth but most dairyfree alternatives are a piece of fruit, full of sugar!! The Vegan Society has a great article about Non-dairy sources of calcium and so will your dietician!
2. Oat & sweetened Soya Milks are really not the best for teeth as they are full of sugars, and make sure you use only enriched milk alternatives with calcium & vitamin D. Sadly Millie only likes Oat milk!
3. Clean teeth as soon as you wake up and wait a while before eating. Then in the evening wait at least 30mins after eating before cleaning teeth as the enamel will be soft.
4. Use toothpaste with cavity protection & calcium in – Millie uses adult toothpaste for the extra fluoride levels as this is what we have been advised to do.
5. Watch for signs of allergic reaction to the toothpaste – both Alys & I can only use certain toothpastes as we end up with red, bleeding gums and a mouth covered in blisters. For us it seems to happen particularly with toothpastes with Bicarb in!
6. Medication can cause problems – My teeth are stained from years of steroid inhalers! There is a great post over on The Adventures of an Allergy Mummy about the hidden dangers of medication and teeth!
To cheer us all up we spent the morning in the beautiful sunshine at Hillier gardens and you can read all about our adventures here.
As you can see my Millie takes it all in her stride and is currently slightly in love with her new allergy friendly pets – her ‘Leafies!’ She has even written a blog post all about them Peachick Diaries: Millie’s New Pets!