dental chair
This post is sponsored by Philips

I’ll never forget the afternoon Riley walked out of class after the home bell and complained that his tooth was hurting. He is rarely sick and has a reasonable tolerance to pain, so you can imagine my terrible, sinking feeling when he pulled back his lip to reveal one of his upper molars was bleeding. Cut to our local dentist, where we’d been lucky to get an emergency appointment, and the sight of my son, feet wriggling in discomfort, as his mouth was investigated.

The dentist pushed her chair back after finishing her assessment and said, “The tooth is abscessed. This needs dealing with as soon as possible.”

Within days we were admitted to hospital. Armed with X-Rays and a brand new paediatric dentist, I felt as prepared as I could be at the prospect of putting my son under a general anaesthetic for not only an extraction of the infected tooth but a pulpotomy of another to save it before it headed down the same path.

When he was in surgery, I walked down to the cafeteria in a daze of worry and self-blame. How could this have happened? We were vigilant with the regularity of tooth brushing. What had gone wrong? The kids flossed irregularly, so was that what made the difference? But how could it since Keira’s teeth were – and remain – fine, and her routine was the same as his?

Some of my questions were answered later when I spoke to the paediatric dentist. Not everyone is born with the same quality or durability of teeth enamel – meaning that some will be more vulnerable to dental issues through their genetics. Riley is one of those individuals. However, today is the four-year anniversary of his operation and I’m happy to report that Riley has not had any further teeth issues since then. And don’t think I’m not worried every time we have a check-up, because on top of everything else he lost all his baby teeth very early and we watched to see if the adult ones grew in okay. (They did.)

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

Left – Sonicare For Kids Connected Electric Toothbrush (ages 4+) – fun, interactive, with App; Right – DiamondClean Smart – Philips’ best toothbrush, with App

In retrospect, while I wish it never had to happen, the experience did give us information and a management strategy to move forward. The first thing we did is swap both kids to an electric toothbrush each. Thanks in part to the novelty they provide (it buzzes!), using electric toothbrushes helps the kids stay at the bathroom basin for the few minutes they should be brushing, rather than the up-and-down-back-and-forth laziness that can happen and they rush off to do something else. I could also speak for myself here! They are effective, and my own dentist noted with approval my swap to an electric toothbrush.

If you’re scouting around for dental options, visit the Phillips website to find the best electric toothbrush for you and I do recommend that you consult your dentist if you’re having troubles or have a question. I’ve had to do so on a number of occasions, thanks to my ongoing jaw and bruxism issues. I’ve had one tooth extraction myself (not counting wisdom teeth) and I don’t want another. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.





Pain-free, bright and smiling boy!

karen andrews

Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity