We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Dental hygiene

I suspect that Giggle didn’t have a toothbrush in his younger years, and he agrees that he only started brushing his teeth when he arrived in Addis Ababa at the care center where he lived during the transition from his first family to us.

I suspected that he probably had some dental problems as a result, even though he’s now an enthusiastic tooth brusher.

So we got a recommendation for a good pediatric dentist, and today he went. Mr. Four said the dentist looked in his mouth for approximately one second and then turned to him and said, “He has seven cavities. We can put him under general anaesthesia and fill them all at once or do them one to two at a time.”

Mr. Four chose plan B, with the understanding that if Giggle resisted, she’d have to reschedule for the general.

Giggle was a champ. And so was Mr. Four, who stood at the end of the dentail chair, smiling happily at Giggle, throughout the entire procedure. When I arrived home from work this afternoon, Giggle proudly announced that he had six to go! I said “cavities?” but didn’t think it was actually true. Alas.

Mr. Four promised Giggle a trip to the bookstore and the opportunity to pick out a book once the seventh filling is done.

Poor kid. I can relate. I nearly lost my baby teeth from sugar rot and now have a filling in nearly every tooth, all of which had to be replaced a few years ago. It was a very expensive and uncomfortable few months of regular dental visits. The price tag isn’t quite so steep here, but my big concern is that this doesn’t turn off Giggle from the dentist forever.

Giggle heads back to the dentist next week; she said she’ll try for two fillings next time. And, as Giggle made sure to tell me, we are very proud of him.


5 November 2007 - Posted by | giggle, sicknesses


  1. Poor little tootsie! Giggle does indeed sond very brave, and a trip to the bookstore sounds like a terrific way to celebrate the end of the fillings.

    So in Egypt, are the dentists still using amalgam exclusively, or was the white composite available instead? Just a curious question…

    Comment by Paige | 6 November 2007

  2. Is amalgam the dark filling? His filling is white. Let me know if that doesn’t answer your question.

    Many doctors (including dentists) here in Egypt went to US med schools.

    I also realized, in retrospect, that the skittles for breakfast couldn’t be helping this. But could a kid really develop seven cavities in three months?

    Comment by egypt4 | 6 November 2007

  3. I think 7 cavities in three months would be a bit aggressive by anyone’s standards. Will they do sealants as a way to preven more in the future? I’m sure the neglect of his dental hygiene in Ethiopia didn’t help, but he could also have terrible teeth–I do, and I’m very obsessive about my tooth care (and always have been–there’s something scary about knowing your mother got her dentures at age 23). So I think it’s likely heredity, malnutrition, and poor dental care. I don’t think skittles enter into the picture at all…

    Comment by Paige | 8 November 2007

  4. Skittles, raisens, dates…anything that’s sticky and loaded with sugar (natural or refined) will contribute to tooth decay. That type of food is the most difficult to brush away, especially if the teeth have deep fissures.

    Giggle’s lack of dental care and his tooth structure are most likely the factors for the early decay. 7 cavities in 3 months?? Highly unlikely, they may have been developing, mere pinpoints that got worse. But 4+ years without any dental care certainly didn’t help and skittles have no place on the breakfast table.

    Comment by Mom | 8 November 2007

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