As a board certified pediatric dentist, I have heard this line from many parents in my office. Initially, when I heard this statement, I thought it was a question. I would typically dive in and reassure the parent, that cavities are not uncommon. We would then move towards talking about the reasons that cavities develop, how we can treat them, and develop a game plan for good oral hygiene for their child.
A few weeks ago, I was that parent. My daughter Ayana (age 3) was diagnosed with a cavity by me. My first thought was, “My child has a cavity!” I realized that this was not a question I was asking, but a declarative statement of frustration for me as a parent. I have spent 4 years in dental school, followed by several years of specialized pediatric training. I am not the world’s best parent, but I have maintained great dental hygiene for my daughter, ensuring her teeth are brushed 2x per day, flossing nightly, avoiding harmful foods (well, most of the time), and being her primary dentist.
So, where do we go from here? Well, I had to give myself the same advice that I give to my patient’s parents. #1, its not your fault. #2, as your dentist we are here to fix this problem. #3, even with the best planning, kids are unique and we can’t control everything.