I'll admit that I was suffering from motherguilt because I had never taken Che to the dentist. Motherguilt has incredible power; it makes me ponder my choices, it keeps me on my toes. Sometimes it makes me really organised, organised enough to make an appointment with the dentist and keep it. Daniel and I had been talking about the dentist with Che quite regularly - how important it is to get check-ups to ensure your teeth stay strong and healthy. His one question was: "After we go to the dentist, can we get ice-cream?" Our response: "Ice-cream goes against everything the dentist stands for."
I was a little apprehensive and envisioned a writhing, unhappy three-year-old clenching his teeth together. The book in the reception area helped - the story of a young boy who opens his mouth wide so the dentist can count all his teeth! As soon as Che hopped on that mechanical chair his mouth was open - he was eager and waiting. I was pleasantly in awe. He has twenty teeth, thinks the cleaning paste is 'yucky' and only had trouble keeping his mouth open when he was giggling so hard the dentist has to take the utensils out of his mouth.
I squeezed a check-up in straight after - still no fillings! But...I was asked, politely, if I tend to clench my teeth sometimes. "It's just that there's a bit of wear on the front teeth," she explained to me. I was lying there, thinking about all those times where as a mum I get so frustrated that I clench - and hard. "Yes," I admitted. "I do...and how bad is that - for my teeth and my parenting." Oh motherguilt, you're still there, even after the dentist.