To be annoyed with DSD's DM about DSD's rotting teeth.

(66 Posts)
Getsomenuts Thu 28-May-15 09:28:48

DSD (4) was dropped off by her DM yesterday after a trip to the dentist. When asked how the appointment had gone DSD's DM said the the dentist wanted to give DSD three fillings (she hasn't lost any of her baby teeth yet).

DP and I have noticed for a while that DSD's teeth (top, front ones) have been going "brown" at the top for a while and we offered to take DSD to the dentist. The dentist said that it was "enamel erosion" probably due to lack of brushing. We were a bit stumped as she is here Friday night through to Sunday night and then Wednesday night and we have always made sure that she has her teeth brushed religiously morning and night and sweet treats were always very occasional, although it was difficult at times as she often resisted having her teeth brushed. DP asked ex about DSD's teeth brushing habits and she said "oh she doesn't like it so I don't brush them a great deal." We bought her an electric toothbrush (at exes request - we suggested she bought one for DSD herself but she refused) that she could use at home and bought one for DSD's use here too.

Last Wednesday night DSD was in tears saying that her teeth were hurting.
After dropping DSD off at school I phoned her DM, told her about DSD's teeth and asked if she would like me to arrange an appointment or if she would do it herself. She said that she was due a dentist check up herself so she would book an appointent for both of them which turned out to be yesterday.

Anyway, DSD's DM came to our door and said "oh she just needs three fillings so she'll have to go backs me get them done, but it doesn't matter because her adult teeth will be coming through soon." (Now the reason I'm so angry) Cue DSD walking round the corner, chocolate bar and family sized cake (still in its wrapper) in hand and a bottle of fanta in the other!! I tried to hide my anger best I could but what the actual fuck is this mentality!??

I'm 25 years old and have never had a filling in my life and poor DSD is crying in agony because the poor child has rotten teeth at 4 years old.

A while ago we had specifically asked that (if DP's ex was dropping DSD off at ours before tea time) she knocked the packet of crisps and chocolate + fizzy drink in the car on the 4 mile journey to our house on the head because she wasn't eating her evening meal when she got to ours. AIBU? We've tried our best but likeDP says were up against it a bit and we can't dictate to his ex how to feed/brush her child's teeth. I thought yesterday would be a wake up call but obviously not.

theconstantvacuumer Thu 28-May-15 09:33:03

How awful for the little one. You are definitely not being unreasonable but I don't know what you can do if ex is determined not to brush DSD's teeth. Maybe your DH can speak to her and gently explain why her teeth are hurting and what she can do to prevent it. And buy her an electric toothbrush to take home with her.

RedHelenB Thu 28-May-15 09:34:30

My dentist says as long as the flouride toothpaste gets to the teeth not to get to hung up on "brushing". How about demonstrating to sd how to brush her own teeth? Have a competition when you & dh do yours to see who can brush them best?

As to her mother, none of your business so concentrate on using DSD's time at yours in a productive manner.

Getsomenuts Thu 28-May-15 09:35:53

constant we bought DSD an electric toothbrush to use at her DM's house, I said last night that I think we just have to a carry on doing as we have been doing with DSD's teeth brushing routine etc.

SaucyJack Thu 28-May-15 09:37:29

YANBU about the food.

But her dad should just book her an appointment and take her to the dentist himself. You don't need to agree this with the ex first. He's her parent too.

Trumpity Thu 28-May-15 09:37:41

Supervised neglect.

Sometimes the dentist will alert SS. The dental team have to do child protection training and this will be covered. That poor child.

theconstantvacuumer Thu 28-May-15 09:38:19

Sorry, I missed that bit.

It's a bit harsh to say 'none of your business' with regards to what happens at her mum's house when the child is clearly suffering!

WorraLiberty Thu 28-May-15 09:38:23

She's got big hands for a 4 year old grin

YANBU but you can't do any more than you're already doing really.

Getsomenuts Thu 28-May-15 09:38:46

red when she's up all night crying in agony because she's in agony with her teeth due to her mother filling her full of crap and not bothering to brush then it kind of is my business

Getsomenuts Thu 28-May-15 09:40:24

saucy we took DSD the first time around to the dentist and yes we will do that next time

prettybird Thu 28-May-15 09:40:47

Being realistic, you probably won't be able to stop your DSD having cans of fizzy drink - although her dad can suggest to his ex that she think about cutting it back.

What might be more feasible is to suggest that if she is going to drink Fanta etc, to do so using a straw. Drinking straight out of a can is the most corrosive way of drinking, as it deposits the sugary, aerated drink straight onto the top teeth.

Koalafications Thu 28-May-15 09:42:26

YANBU. Poor girl. I'm not sure what else you can do, has your DP spoken to his ex since the trip to the dentist?

3 fillings at 4 years old is quite shocking.

DisappointedOne Thu 28-May-15 09:46:07

There was a TV programme on about this recently. Broke my heart watching 4 year olds under general anaesthetic having 8+ teeth out due purely to parental neglect. Twats.

MamaLazarou Thu 28-May-15 09:49:54

'My dentist says as long as the flouride toothpaste gets to the teeth not to get to hung up on "brushing"'

This can't possibly be true, surely?

Getsomenuts Thu 28-May-15 09:52:11

DP spoke to her just as she was leaving and he told her in no uncertain terms that the copious amounts of sugary drinks and sweets has to stop or be cut back at least. It's funny because she doesn't really ask for those sorts of foods or drinks when she's here and you'd think that she'd crave them and be whining for them all of the time.

Hopefully the dentist will have explained to dsd's dmum that decay in baby teeth can and does cause damage to the adult teeth - so it does matter.

I googled Baby teeth decay damage to adult teeth, and found some truly horrific images. And links making it plain that baby tooth decay (what some sites called baby bottle decay) causes permanent damage to adult teeth.

As one site says - the adult teeth are right behind the baby teeth, and decay does not know to stop when it reaches the end of the baby tooth!

I am sure you know all of this - I just hope the dentist is explaining it - with shocking pictures - to dsd's mum!

Getsomenuts Thu 28-May-15 10:31:26

Yes I'm Very aware of that. I would've hoped the dentist has explained this too but with her "oh it's her baby teeth so doesn't matter" comment and giving her chocolate, cake and fizzy pop, I really don't think that he/she has.

I don't think that it's acceptable in this day and age either.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 28-May-15 10:33:10

4 year olds can be fairly impressionable. Has her father tried gently explaining it to her that her teeth hurt because she is eating too much sugar and not washing her teeth ?

Maybe try buying her a fancy personalised water bottle or two?

Getsomenuts Thu 28-May-15 10:35:36

This is the funny thing tread she doesn't ask for those things here. She will only drink water when she's here and she understands that sweet treats are very occasional so I can't imagine her DM is simply giving in to her demanding at home but then I don't know that either.

mileend2bermondsey Thu 28-May-15 12:37:20

DP and I have noticed for a while that DSD's teeth (top, front ones) have been going "brown" at the top for a while and we offered to take DSD to the dentist.
How very gracious of your DP to offer to take his daughter to the dentist once her teeth had turned brown. hmm
DSD's health is clearly being neglected by both her mother and father. I don't know why you are trying to give all the blame to the mother.

Maybe saying they 'offered' to take her was not the best phrasing - but I would imagine that Getsomenuts dh ought to talk to his ex, before booking any healthcare appointment - if nothing else, to make sure they aren't duplicating them!

Getsomenuts Thu 28-May-15 13:20:36

mileend we took DSD to the doctors about her asthma once and her DM went through the roof and wouldn't let us see her for two weeks!! So understandably, we are cautious! It's a catch 22. Please don't pass judgement!! We've done all we can to ensure her dental health!

HerRoyalNotness Thu 28-May-15 13:29:16

Does your DSD use an inhaler for her asthma? I'm pretty sure these can affect the state of a DCs teeth as well.

If not, ignore me.

asthma/teeth

LadyCuntingtonThe3rd Thu 28-May-15 13:29:41

I would take her to the dentist and ask them to report mother to SS. Poor girl.

Theycallmemellowjello Thu 28-May-15 13:33:35

what about fluoride supplements? I took these as a child while my sister didn't (on different advice from the dentist) and I've always been less susceptible to cavities than her. I'm no expert, but I think they are the standard recommendation for kids not getting their teeth looked after at home? Obviously discuss with a dentist/pharmacist, but possibly something to look into.

I also think that it is important that your DP sits the girl's DM now and explains in no uncertain terms what she needs to do to look after the little girl's dental health. Ie supervised brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste twice a day, limiting sugary snacks and drinks, drinking through straws. And that he impresses on her that this is not normal, and makes sure she understands the likely full repercussions - losing teeth at a young age, excruciating pain etc. And then he probably needs to check in and nag about this often. If there's no change, I'd consider getting social services in to do the nagging.

But at any rate, your DP cannot assume that the DM knows what to do or that she is doing it even after it's been explained. He needs to actively step in to make sure it happens. So much neglect is caused by ignorance on the part of the parents. As co-parent DP has a duty to do everything he can to get her to understand what she needs to do - stewing in silence after seeing fanta being glugged is not the right thing for him to do (although obviously it's different for you and it's him that should be having the conversation).

Beyond that, if the mother is seriously not looking after her child's health, is it not a possibility for your DP to get primary custody?

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