Friday, May 4, 2012

Treats

I took my kids to the dentist to have their teeth cleaned, and Saxon had another cavity!
I was so sad.  Sad for me and sad for him.
I brush his teeth every single night.  Always.  We usually floss and rinse too, but we always brush.  When he got his first cavity a year ago, I really cracked down on the brushing routine.  I even brush and floss Dalton's baby teeth.
I asked the dentist what is going on...how else can we prevent cavities if what we're doing isn't helping.
He said that it's interesting because a big study was just done in New York about how preschoolers, now a days, are getting tons of cavities.  He said he is currently writing a paper on it.
So I asked the obvious questions.  "Well...why?"
He said that's what every parent wants to know..."why?"
He said it's more important than ever to brush, floss, rinse, and go to check-ups. 
Great.  We already do that.
Genetics can affect teeth.
Well...nothing we can do about that.
Also, diet can make a difference.
I'm really careful about what we eat.  I try to not be crazy about it, but I am always aware of how I feed my family.
Last...candy.
I told him that I don't give my kids very much candy.
He asked me to think about all of the other people who do give them candy.
If they are good in church...the teacher gives the a treat.
If they are good in preschool...they get a treat.
If they complete their homework...treat.
Relatives come into town...treat.
Babysitter...treats.
Anytime we need to bribe them to do something important...treat.
My preemptive attack against grocery store tantrums...treat.
Wow.
Even if I never gave them treats, they would still be getting tons of them!
Our dentist was saying that years ago, treats were rare.
They were for special occasions.
Now kids get a treat even at the bank drive through.
Well, obviously we need to be more careful about treats if we want to protect our kids teeth.  But what do I do?
It doesn't seem fair to tell Saxon that everyone else in church gets treats...but not him.
Or everyone else gets treats in school...but not him.
I did have a talk with him about keeping our teeth healthy and how too many sugar bugs can hurt our teeth, but it made him nervous about everything he eats.
I remember my Dad telling me about dog-training once.
(I know...totally not the same as raising children...but it reminded me of this)
My Dad never trains his dogs with treats.
He pets them and encourages them and praises them, but he doesn't feed them to get them to obey.  I asked him once, why not?  That's how they train dogs that are in movies.  He asked me what would happen if the dog wasn't hungry.  Then it wouldn't obey.
It just made me think of how often we teach our kids with treats.
So, we're making a huge cut-back-on-the-treats-goal in our house.
It's funny because I don't even buy treats or snacks...but I'm going to have to pay much more attention to what happens when we're out.
I think sugar-free-gum might be a nice compromise when I feel like they deserve a special treat.
Any other ideas?

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, I don't do many treats in our house and I've become very tuned in to how much sugar is in everything I feed mine. Cereal, drinks (do you know gatorade has as much sugar as soda), I buy sugar free syrup for their waffles. I buy sugar free drink mixes. At first they hated me (mine are a tad older than yours), but half the time they are eating sugar free and don't even know it. It's been very important to me to cut out so much sugar not only for their teeth - but for their overall health!

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