The Dental Cost of Pregnancy

I cracked a tooth. 

Eating toasted fruit loaf. 

And not some Han Solo in Carbonite level toasting. I’m talking lowest dial on the toaster. Warmed enough to melt the butter. With a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. 

To be fair, I cracked the filling. Yes, I have fillings. I have really dodgy teeth. Despite brushing twice a day, flossing, and avoiding a lot of the really sticky sweets like toffee apples and Chupa Chups. I still have dodgy teeth. 


Here’s something they don’t tell you until AFTER you become the vessel for some spawnling: pregnancy is really bad for your teeth.

So here I am at the dentist. The day after The Crackin’ (I like that …) because they couldn’t give me a seat until the next day.


I haven’t eaten. I haven’t had a cuppa tea. I am not a happy camper. It’s not like the benchmark is high; I am yet to meet a person who enjoys going to the dentist. But today I’m a little more grizzly than usual.

And the dentist senses that. I see him flex his fingers, wary of putting them anywhere near my choppers–except for the fact I need his fingers working to fix my tooth.

“So how many kids do you have?”

Three spawnlings.

“You know, you can kind of blame them for some of this tooth decay…”

And with that little sentence, he has rocketed into first place of all the greatest dentists. Ever.

Now let’s get something straight: dental hygiene is more important than you probably give it credit.

Most of us know the routine; brush twice a day, floss daily, rinse after every meal, avoid sticky sweets. 

There are also heaps of unsubstantiated stories of why pregnancy effects your teeth; the baby leeches your calcium, mum’s too busy to brush, morning sickness brings too much acid to your mouth, excess blood in the gums increases your risk for gingivitis.

The thing is, some of these are kind of true…and there’s not enough detailed research to confirm anything. Typical of any pregnancy-related research.

So which parts can I blame on my spawnlings?

  • Babies leech your calcium reserves during pregnancy: true but when they do, it will come from your bones first. Apparently, any leech-able calcium in your mouth is found first in your saliva, not your teeth. While small in quota, any calcium in your saliva is beneficial for coating your teeth and adding to the enamel protecting your pearlers. If your teeth are losing any of their structure, your problems go far beyond the symbiotic relationship with your unborn;
  • Morning sickness rots your teeth: true in that morning sickness… No ALL-DAY sickness will upchuck more acid into your mouth, throwing out the delicate balance of bacteria-fighting acid and enamel-protection. Add to this any reduction in the calcium in your saliva, and Holy Teeth, Batman! 
  • Extra blood increases your chance of gingivitis: true, for some but not a blanket concern. Increased blood flow can make your gums swell and bleed in pregnancy, but this is also because of a build up of plaque. Vicious cycle–you can’t brush your teeth properly because your gums are bleeding, but then the plaque builds up and causes your gums to bleed. Add those pesky pregnancy hormones to the mix and your gums are even MORE susceptible to infection. 

Here’s a bonus for you: the pregnancy hormone Relaxin loosens up your ligaments. ALL of your ligaments. Including the ligaments supporting your jaw. So when you’re lying in the dentist chair with your mouth wide open, be aware how loose your jaw will be… 

I found out the hard way, at 2am when I dislocated my jaw yawning. Yes – yawning. The day after a long session in the dentists chair, my jaw was so loose it was dislocating every time I yawned. 

So what have I learnt from all of this? Pregnancy is a bitch. Sure, I could go with the wise dentist and blame it on the spawnlings but I reckon that gives them far more credit than they deserve.

The truth with pregnancy is we are not just vessels. We are powerful creators! We are investors in the future, giving ourselves to whatever may come from it. Sometimes that cost can be way too high. It is not always the glowing experience romanticised in marketing campaigns.

In the meantime, my dentist and I are working on a dental management plan. My teeth may not improve, but I have no intention of allowing them to get any worse. 


And The Crackin’? Well, that’s just a reminder of how much I have invested already. 

Yeah, my spawnlings are so sweet they give me toothaches. 

My Spawnlings Drive Me Crazy

There comes a time in every parents’ life when they look at their precious little spawnlings and say to themselves, “Good Gods in Hades. What have I created?”

I used to think our spawnlings take after their father, with a healthy dose of my dry wit to keep them fresh and alert. I now realise how wrong I am, and worse still: It is all my own fault.

This realisation came to me last Thursday when the EG Mobile broke.

my-spawnlings-drive-me-crazy

Short story: Zaltu and I started driving home from the doctors’ (just a check-up) and the battery light comes up on the dash. By the time we have covered the 5km back to our home, every light is on and I have lost power steering. I am still surprised I maneuvered that tank up our driveway.

Because I was able to drive it (and other factors), we figured it was the alternator, not the battery. I called a mobile mechanic, who would be there the next day. No problem. I can walk to school to pick up the boys, and we’ll just miss martial arts that day.

Sinister was first to meet us at the school-gate.

We’re not going to martial arts today, buddy.

“Why not?”

The car’s broken.

“What did you do to it this time?!?”

Now, given he has a fairly good reason for this response. In the last 3 years, I have sideswiped 2 poles. Two stationary cement poles. The first was totally my fault for not checking my mirrors when backing out of a carpark space. The second was totally not my fault since another car was heading straight for me and the only space I had was to scrape the damn pole. I know I should have let the guy hit us for insurance purposes, but since he over-corrected and started heading for Nefarious’ door I think the pole was the better option.

Prior to these events, I have never NEVER crashed my car.

But the spawnlings don’t know this. They just think their incubator shouldn’t drive near cement poles.

For the record, spawnling, I did nothing to the car. The alternator died and needs replacing.

“The alternator? Is that like a fancy word for ‘passenger side door that was taken off by a cement pole’?”

trolling-meAnd there you have it, folks. Sinister is my own personal troll. That’s exactly the same sarcastic wit I have been using as my primary language for the last 40-odd years. Clearly he does listen to me… At times.

Nefarious was next to join us, and I told him the same: Not going to martial arts because the car is broken.

“What did you do to it this time, mum?”

Sinister: “Hey, that’s what I said!”

I can’t even be mad at them. Not only have I created the scenario, but I have total admiration for their quick wit. Both of them.

Suffice to say, both spawnlings have lived to tell the tale to their father, who is conveniently away in the US for work and thus a safe distance to laugh long and hard at his poor suffering wife.

 

Edit: BTW–This isn’t the first time EG Dad has been absent during a household Chaos-Event. Last time was the Broken Wrist v Broken Fridge event. Convenient, don’t you think?

 

Open Letter to the Self-Entitled Mum at the Pool

Dear Swimming Mum,

You self-entitled git.

Usually, I care not about other parents at the pool. You brought your little spawnling to the pool. You are essentially teaching them to swim AND spending time with them** so I don’t usually complain about that front.

But when you interfere with others trying to achieve the same thing, then I become irate.

Our swim centre / pool is like many other pools around the country. We have a lap pool; we have a ‘leisure pool’ with a big section used for swimming lessons (3yo and up); and we have a hydrotherapy pool for baby and toddler lessons, as well as therapy for rehab patients in the area. A nice heated bonus really.

Now, swimming lessons are offered and we pay for them. They are available to everyone who pays for enrolment.

That means, Self-Entitled Mum if you are not enrolled then you are not allowed in the class.

You are welcome to go to the front desk and enrol. But until that point, get out of the class.

That’s right – the teacher has asked you to leave the clearly signed class area.

And then, the pool lifeguard has asked you to leave the class area.

And one of the parents has asked you to leave the class area because you are interfering with the kids who HAVE paid and enroled.

But you think you are entitled to be there. You even think you are entitled to take toys from the swimming lesson area. Once again, you are invited to enrol in the lesson. Until then, stop interfering with those who have enroled.

I am so sick of parents who think the rules don’t apply to their special and unique snowflakes. If you need a special consideration then apply for one. You are not automatically entitled to help yourself to whatever the hell you want because you don’t want to wait.  Especially when it’s a want, not a need.

It’s not just swimming pools:

  • No – you’re child can’t jump the line because they want a pink balloon before they run out;
  • No – you’re child cannot be excused from the homework because you don’t want to read the book with them at night;
  • No – your child cannot have the clarinet instead of the flute in the school band; not only did your child complain about the reed in the try-outs but we do not have enough clarinets to go around. No, you are not entitled to jump the queue ahead of other students because he is a boy. WTH is wrong with a boy playing the flute?!?

So – Self-Entitled Mum. We all know you want something. You want the best for your spawnling. We all want the best for all spawnlings; well maybe not my spawnlings who will rule yours. But generally, we all want the same thing.

Here is your opportunity to teach them about working towards goals. If you want something, you most likely have to do something yourself first; in this case, enrol in the class first. Then wait for your pretty little turn.

Sincerely,

Evil Genius Mum

 

** PS> Bonus Note for the Mum Who Abandoned Their Child With Me

You’re not entitled to anything either. Just because Zaltu started a conversation with your 5yo does not mean you can walk away and assume I will take care of him for you. This is not communal living where the ‘village’ does your job for you. I am not Your Village.

And when he follows us 5m to the slide to continue the conversation, sure I will keep an eye on him so he doesn’t drown but I am not responsible for him. Which means you are not entitled to come back and yell at me for moving away from our original spot. You are not entitled to dump your responsibility on any adult-looking person in your vicinity. At least, introduce yourself and ask first!!
Minions: here are two examples of what is NOT Evil Genius Parenting.

EG Parent Award #64

We all have that one story… 

Okay, I have at least a dozen.

The “I had a great idea from the interwebs and totally nailed it!” story.

  
What is that?!? Oh, that was just my attempt at a Charmander cake for Nefarious – and of course I ran out of icing while doing this. At 11pm. See – nailed the cake AND parenting with birthday cake preparation.

This week’s EG Parent Award DID NAIL IT! Probably as much a surprise to himself as the rest of us. Especially if you have read his previous ‘handyman’ posts.

  
Bruce at Big Family Little Income has done it again. Yeah, we have a thing going on (blog-speaking of course) but the man has outdone himself this time.

  
He even shared instructions on his page – including a warning of exactly how many beers it will take to remove the Little Tikes stickers.

The heartbreaking part is we live too far away to steal this from him. Zaltu thinks it’s purrfect. 

Oh well. To the Garage!!

EG Parent Award #63

You know how I feel about the Elf on the Shelfelf 01

I don’t think some parents realise the ‘dark forces’ they are messing with. But hey – if they are happy to share the entertainment with us (albeit for different reasons), then who am I to complain?

Gives me a whole lot more material to work with here at EG Inc.

But then there is one parent (or in special cases, two). They get it. They recognise the potential and they RUN WITH IT!!

Introducing the Wynbergs!

 

elf 02

Photo by Megan Wynberg / Facebook

Here are two parents who have decided that if the spawnlings are going to hassle them forever about the Damn Elf on the Shelf, then they were going to have fun with it too.

I love this for two separate reasons, and it works as a tool of Evil Genius Parenting for either of these reasons:

  1. The kids are going to be completely spooked by this life-size effort and will freak out, turning off Elf on the Shelf for the rest of their lives. Fun for all. OR
  2. The kids will go absolutely APE over this, love it SOOOOOOOO much – and no pissy little ordinary Elf on the Shelf will EVER be able to compete with the awesomeness here. THIS is my favourite and preferred reason.

I’m really hoping the spawnlings are as awesome as the parents, and completely appreciate the brilliance behind this. Fairly good chance of that being so.

You can see all the shenanigans of FLE the Elf on Megan Wynberg’s Facebook page. And they are plastered all over the social media too.

C’mon minions. They have raised the bar. What are YOU doing for your own season celebrations?