Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Fluoride or non-fluoride toothpaste?

Gosh! A dilemma for me now eversince I got back from Dublin and seeing some TV ads of halal non-fluoride toothpaste and the contradicting ads from Colgate still advocating the importance of fluoride toothpaste and blaming the mother for not giving her son the fluoride toothpaste. The government should do something in regulating these confusing and probable misleading ads campaign.

Even the dentists seem to not have a clue on this issue. At a recent visit to the dentist for Rizal’s treatment, the receptionist handed Emmet a free gift of Pureen non-fluoride toothpaste for children complete with pamphlets explaining about the importance of not having fluoride in your toothpaste. Even I get a sample for pregnant ladies’ toothpaste, also non-fluoride. But when I checked out the clinic’s website, they still believe in fluoride in dental care. How confusing is that?

Apparently it is still a controversy and it is impossible to find facts and figures that can assure you on which to decide. Yet Malaysia is still mass medicating its inhibitants with fluoridated water supply when a lot of European countries have banned fluoride in water supply. Now, knowing Malaysia yang sungguh famous dengan it’s incompettence, how can we be assured that they did not ter-overdose us with fluoride? And then kept quiet about it?

And interestingly, there is no evidence or no difference actually in the reduced cases of cavities among countries that fluoridate their water supply and those that did not eversince it was introduced in the 1940s.

Alas, us mothers are left wondering what’s best for our children. Even if we seek advise from the dentist, how are we sure about the credibility of the dentist? Is he up to date with the current research and issues pertaining dental and oral care globaly?

Luckily, I think I am on the right track. I am not a fan of toothpaste anyway. I don’t squeeze on the toothbrush like they squeeze nicely and generously in the ads or on the box of the toothpaste. I probably use 1/20 of that amount. And for Emmet, I just calit the tip of the tiny brush, again about 1/20 of the pea size recommended by most dentist. Children will surely swallow when they first begin to learn to brush. Even Emmet sometimes ter-swallow.

That’s the dangerous part of the fluoride, apart from the fact that it is used in rat’s poison and other domestic cleaning agents in the market. We don’t have a meter like the weight scale or the digital thermometer to let us know what is the fluoride content in our body.

So I think for children, it is better to use non-fluoride toothpaste since it is safer to swallow. And if you notice, small children’s teeth are not that hard to clean nor are they as dirty as adults’. You just need to brush them properly and they are good to go.

As for Emmet, I ban all kinds of sweets and candy (allergy excuse comes in handy at these times). I also ban all types of junk food like Twisties and the likes. The only junk that he is excused to would be potato chips that contains only potato, vegetable oil and salt in the ingredients list. I hope he will carry this habit throughout his life, which is unlikely I think, once he enters kindergarten or standard 1. He might most probably be tempted seeing all his friends grovelling on all those carbonated drinks, junk food and sweets. Until that happens, I think I’ll stop thinking about it for now…

Monday, 9 November 2009

Emmet: 3 years old

At the beginning of becoming a 3-year-old, Emmet was behaving quite charmingly. I thought all my hard work is paying off by now. Well, it seems likely since almost everything I taught him, I could say I thought I taught him well. Tantrums were no longer an issue. No embarassing episodes in public.

But after a few months,

He says no to almost everything.

Suka cari gaduh.

Screams “No!” or does not like it when others forbid him from doing something or even being scolded.

Make noise/screams when people are talking to each other. Such an attention seeker.

Suke buat aksi mengada-ngada when getting up in the morning or from a nap.

“Nak mikuuuuuuuuuk haaaa!!!” dengan suara tangisan yang amat mengada-ngada.
“Air mummyyyyyy haaaa!!!”
“Ta boleeeeeeeh haaaa!!!” when his blanket is stuck under his feet.
“Aaa jussss!!! Wa-bee-naaa haaaa!!!!”

I usually don’t give in to this kind of behaviour. I said, “Kalau Emmet nak, cakap elok-elok, no crying no screaming macam tu ok.”

And he would go “ Tannnnaaak!!!”

And I would go away and ignore him.

And he would cry even more at my ears, trying to get attention. And I can’t do anything else except wait. Can’t even hear what’s been said in the news on the tele. Maybe I need to stand by with more new magazines.

This would go on like half an hour until he asked me nicely.

Boy am I trying to be patient. I am just wondering how long will this go on until he learns. Or is this even going to work?

Can follow instructions when in good mood. Helps me get the remote control or put his bowl into the kitchen sink after breakfast or switch off the tele when going out or get a dvd rom the tv cabinet or paling syok skali is tidying up his toys!!!! Yippie!!!
“Emmet nak ikut mummy ambik daddy tak? Kalau nak ikut tolong simpan semua mainan Emmet dalam bakul ok, kalau tak mummy tak nak bawak Emmet, Emmet tinggal kat rumah ok.”

Kalau good mood he straight away obey. But if he’s not up to it he would go “Mummy shi-paaaaaaaannnn!!!”

“Emmet punye mainan Emmet kene simpan, Emmet good boy kan?”

“Tanak guk boy!!!”

“Ok mummy tanak bawak Emmet, Emmet tinggal kat rumah sorang-sorang ok?”


“Kalau tanak tinggal Emmet simpan ok?”

“Mummy shi-paaaaaannn!!!”

This same conversation would go on another eight to nine cycle before he gave in and start collecting his toys.

Of course a big hug and kisses and praises awaits him if he completed his chore.

He is starting to take responsibility. Take his own towel from the ampaian. Take off his pants. Still have some difficulties taking off top. He wants to comb his hair and reminds me to clean his ears and have his daily inhaler. He wants to lock the car doors. He wants to buckle his own seat belt. He wants to open and close his own biscuit container. Can play games from my handphone. Can take his toys from under the sofa. Wipe his own tears with a tissue. Throws rubbish into the bin. Brush his bottom and front teeth and spit. Knows how to take pictures from a camera. Can identify characters in a cartoon series. Can sing to tunes but does not like other people sing along. Can nap on his own

And the grand finale of his achievement….. THE FIVE W!!!

It has been about a month now and I think in about another month I will go crazy!

“Siape tu?” pointing at the crocodile being disected on National Geographic.
“Huh? Ape tu kwo-kedai?”
“There, crocodile swimming…” the tele showing the live crocodile swimming in the river.
“Huh? Ape tu wimming?”
“Swimming dalam river…” sambil buat gaya swimming.
“Kwo-kedai bla bla bla ape tu?” the researcher was trying to put a tracking device on the crocodile.
Starting to ignore that question…the crocodile was showing off his teeth.
“Bla bla bla wonderpets bla bla bla”
I burst out laughing! Remember the crocodile in Wonderpets who had a toothache and had to find a lonely bird to clean his teeth? Yup, that’s what he was explaining…

But anyway that’s what he’s doing now. ‘Ape tu? Siape tu?’ to almost everything!

Emmet is scared of…
Thunder and fireworks. He would suddenly stop what he’s doing and run to the nearest person and panjat and hug that person tightly at the neck, complete with gaya terketar-ketar. And sometimes if the sound of the helicopter or aeroplane was so loud, he would get scared too but actually wanted to go and have a look. And I don’t know why but he is suddenly scared of cicak sometimes. He likes seeing bugs but got scared when my sister held a cockroach near him. Sometimes he’s scared of big flies.

I am starting to worry because he is becoming more curious in what other people eats especially the ones that he is allergic to. He wants to taste our food when we eat something.

He does not like western food and it is quite difficult to get him to eat when we went to a western restaurant. Dah la tak banyak choice for kids menu that he is not allergic to. Sometimes I have to get the manager or chef to explain how the they prepare the dish and make requests to modify the dish so that Emmet can eat it safely. And most of the time, I had to tapau Emmet’s leftovers and hope my sister would eat them. But I’m not up to western food these days and am glad of it because we can save some money since western food is so expensive.

I only started trying roti canai on him. He loved it! And no significant allergic reaction occurs. So lepas ni senang la boleh lepak at mamak and let Emmet be occupied with his roti canai.