12.10.2008

Is It January 13th Yet?

I took Sheridan to the dentist today. Not one of my more favorite places to go or things to do with her. Remember last time I took her? She said the "F" word. And it's not as if I didn't have a bevy of other things to take care of before school ends on Friday and the girls are off on winter break for the next three weeks.

Why did I have to rush Sheridan to the dentist today you ask? Because her thumb sucking finally got the best of her and she has seriously inflamed and infected gums.

She's been complaining about her gums for the last week, hymning and hawing that it hurt when we brushed her teeth, ate any dinner, or had to make her bed... though that's her usual demeanor these days so we didn't think anything of it. That is, until I took another close look at her gums yesterday and wondered if maybe there was food stuck somewhere. I attempted to floss her teeth, but when she threw the Oscar Award winning temper tantrum I decided to call in the professionals and let them do what they do best. Scare little children.

Our appointment with the pediatric dentist today went rather well, and more importantly, rather quick. He took one look at her gums and asked me if she sucks her thumb. Well duh? Did you not notice the thumb in her mouth when she walked in... or the wet, shriveled, indent mark in her left thumb that will forever be there because goodness knows she doesn't take that thumb out of her mouth except to eat, talk, or hit her sister. He then told me that we also need to make sure she doesn't put other stuff in her mouth too ~ a feat that I've been working on for the past 3 years that in theory would be a fabulous idea, however in reality it's entirely unrealistic.

In the 10 minutes or so we were there, he diagnosed her infected gums, gave us 2 different medicines, and then proceeded to instruct me on the next procedure we're going to do - install the anti thumb sucking device... on January 13th. As 3 separate pediatric dentists, 3 pediatricians, and an ER physician have told me, we need to get her to stop sucking her thumb by the time she turns 4. While we love her little snaggle, half-chipped front tooth, extremely buck teethed smile, we'd prefer to NOT have her teeth resemble the Donkey's in the movie Shrek. If we continue to let her suck her thumb, she's well on her way!

On January 13th, we'll be going back to the dentist for her to get impressions made and to install the rings on the back two teeth. Two days later we'll go back and have the dentist insert the thin wire, and smooth, polished, silver tine device that she'll wear for the next 3-6 months, depending on how stubborn she is... He told me she'll be cranky, lose her appetite, and talk funny for the first week or so. In essence we shouldn't observe much of a difference in her attitude.... By day-10 she should stop putting her thumb in her mouth. Around 3 months we can make the decision as to our next steps. And then we wait...

The cost of all of the procedures? The office visits, impressions, the device, and all materials used on both January 13th and 15th... come up to a whopping total of 4500 Rupees - or approximately $90. Total.

Yeah baby! Let's hear it for Medical Tourism.

17 comments:

Mom24 said...

That's a truly unbelievable price! Poor baby, I feel sorry for her.

Julianna had her pacifier until she was 4 and the 'pacy-fairy' made a trade--all her pacifiers for a doll. I think she still regrets the exchange. So do I in some ways, it was counter-acting her serious under-bite. Good luck with it. I have a friend whose daughter started back up every time the thumb crib was removed. As you know, dental work isn't so 'reasonable' here!

Too bad you can't unwind with a glass of wine for that week or so she's transitioning!

Kim said...

This scares me.. My little guy lives for his paci.. he is not yet two but I have to get rid of it now!

My sisters son sucked his finger until he was lik 8.. She is now spending a small fortune on braces.

I hope her little gums feel better.

Susan said...

Hi! I've never posted a comment on your blog before but read it often. Your description "While we love her little snaggle, half-chipped front tooth, extremely buck teethed smile, we'd prefer to NOT have her teeth resemble the Donkey's in the movie Shrek" exactly and completely describes my almost 2 year old daughter!!! I know it's not funny, as I feel your pain and I'm afraid to say will be feeling it for years to come. I hope everything works out for Sheridan and YOU. You've inspired me to try to make my daughter stop sucking her thumb right.this.minute. Please keep us posted as I hope January 13th comes quickly for you and isn't as bad as you think it will be.

Much love from NJ,
Suz

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I was a thumb sucker too and they never had anything to stop me! That would have cost an arm and leg here in the States!

Jen said...

wow that is impressive. I hope it all goes as planned.

C said...

That's it! I'm bringing my kids to India for the rest of their orthodontia--we're up to about $8,000 b/t the two of them, total. Do you have an extre bedroom? :)

~Christy

Hairline Fracture said...

I didn't know their gums could get inflamed from sucking their thumb! I'm glad you have such a cheap solution!

NAVAL LANGA said...

To Ms. Jill

I have read some of your posts. I would like to revisit the same.

If you like short stories and paintings, then a short visit to my blogs would be a good idea.

Naval Langa

Simple Answer said...

You so crack me up.

$90? Breast implants here I come!

Nap Warden said...

Holy moly...that is insane. I have spent a fortune at the dentist!

Quizman said...

The Berkeley parents network has good info on parenting (incl thumb sucking!).

http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/toddler/

angie said...

$90 bucks, TOTAL? WOW. I'm glad the dental visit went well and didn't turn into a nightmare!

OHmommy said...

I have my dentist husband here...

He says, "It does work. Wonders. In a last case situation."

And he would have sent her off w/princess stickers and princess toothbrush. I am thinking she probably didn't get that in India. Right?

Wishing you lots of less thumb sucking in the future and sending you hugs.

Tenakim said...

1st- my son turns 14 on Jan. 13- as if that's not scary enough- your story is totally freaking me out- Beebs still sucks the thumb- time for the pepper and tobasco- it worked with my son!

Hyphen Mama said...

Oh, I cannot wait to hear how this turns out! Wynnie--age 5-- still sucks her thumb and has the buck teeth to show for it. I've tried many, many things and am at the point of getting the same installment you describe. UGH. I'm pretty sure it'll cost more than $90.

Kat said...

I am loving the medical tourism post :-) Since I ask about that so much!

My youngest was a thumb sucker,too. But she really just rested her thumb in her mouth...rather than actually sucking it. She had some shaping on her palate...but not too much. And when she sleeps, she still sucks her thumb.

I am very curious to hear about how she deals with the "thing" in her mouth...and whether it works or not.

Mrs4444 said...

Wow.Good luck!

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