This is a community announcement…

This morning I had to take little Elfie to the dentist. Every time she threw her head back and laughed, I noticed that her molars are brown, and recently a yellow coating encroaches  most of her teeth.

Let it be noted that she doesn’t eat sugar (except for one or two incidents) and she doesn’t drink juice. I do try to brush her teeth every day, though I was always concerned I didn’t brush well enough. It is such a struggle, and I don’t want her to feel negatively about the routine of teeth brushing, so if she protests, I relinquish, and put it off until another time.

Say Cheeeese

G and others fobbed off my worries – they are her baby teeth, no matter. More will come. It sounded like I brushed her teeth more than most people. When I told my Mum I was taking her to the dentist, she wondered why, and questioned why I didn’t take fluoride tablets when I was pregnant and breastfeeding…What??  This is the first I have heard of such a thing!  I always thought water had fluoridation. Because we eat very healthily and drink water and not juice, I wouldn’t dream we could have a problem. Both G and I have great, healthy teeth. I have since read a few things to suggest that you can’t buy fluoride tablets anymore – it isn’t considered safe. The safest thing is water fluoridation, a little bit of fluoride in toothpaste, and a healthy diet.

Having visited the dentist this morning with Elfie, however, I wish, as one always does in this situation, that I had listened to my mother instinct – I knew my daughter’s teeth weren’t as they should be, and now she might have tooth decay. One very sad mumma {sigh audibly}.

Apparently I live in one of the few places in Australia where the water hasn’t fluoridation. I haven’t looked into the issue enough to know if this is a good or bad thing. According to WHO and my dentist and other doctors and dentists, water fluoridation is the safest way to prevent tooth decay, as well as eating well. But I suppose there are other issues.

I am, generally, a mother el naturale. My child sleeps in our bed, I breastfed for 15 months, I still carry her in the Ergo to sleep. But I do very, very strongly agree with childhood vaccination and now I am starting to believe in water fluoridation. I am very sad this morning that my incredibly healthy daughter at the age of 19 months has tooth decay, and until another appointment with the dentist, we won’t know if it is congenital or something I did during my pregnancy or other.

Good things that have come out of today are that I learnt how to brush Elfie’s teeth well, our community dentist was lovely, and completely accommodating to the need’s of a 19 month-old, and maybe we caught the tooth decay early enough to prevent it from becoming worse.

What are your thoughts about water fluoridation? Is it a good thing? Safe? What are the arguments against it? Please, say your piece. And for those with children, please brush their teeth morning and night, and somehow make it a fun, regular routine. Community announcement complete.