a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


A little over a month or so ago, after Oia's nightly brushing, Rob noticed Oia had a cavity on one of her left bottom molars. The cavity seemed to happen over night but it was quite noticeable and even discolored. We suspected that this cavity could have been the cause of those inconsolable crying spells that occurred a few weeks earlier*. So the following day, I took Oia to her dentist to take a look and she wouldn't allow the dentist to get a good peek. Obviously, the consensus was that the tooth needed fixed, and since this girl does not tolerate dental appointments well, I had to schedule her for admission into UVA for dental work under general anesthesia. That lovely procedure took place yesterday morning.

While under anesthesia, the goal was to x-ray her teeth, clean them, apply sealant, and fix any and all cavities. We went in there knowing that she had one cavity and a congenital defect of another tooth that needed to be checked out. Half way through the procedure however, the dental team called to say that they found more cavities and it would take them longer than expected. So 3 hours, 3 caps, and 6 cavities later, we were finally called back to recovery. One would think after hearing that news that a toothbrush never entered her mouth on a daily basis but I assure you one does... and often times more than once a day. AND, she's been going to the dentist regularly for about a year and half now with no concerns.

But I must say, the risk factors have been stacked against us. Oia has low tone in her mouth, hence the drool. Therefor, she doesn't clear her mouth of food and drink as one should be able to. She often times is unaware when sticky foods are stuck to her teeth. Dentist said that the enamel of Oia's teeth is soft so having both of these factors on board just leaves the door wide open for dental decay. Joy. We found out the hard way.

But even after knowing all of that, I still feel sick about it. Like I'm a horrible mommy kind of sick. Her teeth are our responsibility... and look what happened. Shiny metal caps are NOT supposed to be a part of my child's smile. Can I look on the bright side and say that at least these teeth are her primary set and she'll one day get all new teeth? That thank goodness teeth can be "fixed" and that the caps are in the back of her mouth? It doesn't really make me feel any better but that's what I'll keep telling myself.

So, I guess we eliminate some juices and replace them with waters and just be more mindful of the foods she eats. I refuse to eliminate certain foods from her diet though simply because of sugar content. I'm not that mom. She is four and has a love and curiousity of all food types and I love that about her. I'll just moderate but not eliminate... poor girl. She handled the whole day in true Oia fashion ~ like the trooper she is.

*And a little fyi... none of the cavities effected the roots of her teeth therefor none of them should have caused any pain or ache. Crying spells still a mystery but none have returned.


  1. Try not to beat yourself up about this Mo.

    Oh the dreaded dental work.....we still haven't taken Shelby to the dentist because I know it will be terrible.

    I hope Oia is feeling better...

  2. Ouch, poor sweetheart. :(
    It's not your fault, remember that. You are a wonderful mother to both Oia and Esmé, they are so lucky to have you.

  3. Crap. Poor Oia! I hate seeing her put right out to have the work done! :( I'm happy to hear that you're not going to deprive her of her favourite sweets. Her teeth will feel much better now, and you should feel good about that.
    (Still praying that the crying spells dont come back.)

  4. All I'm going to say is this, "You are a GREAT Mommy!" Oia's smile is as beautiful today day as is was before this procedure.