Well, after a few weeks of procrastination and second opinions, I ultimately deferred to the dentist's sound judgment and scheduled the appointments for Son #1 to get his stainless steel crowns.
Turns out all my worries about "metal-mouth" were largely unwarranted. For the most part, you can't see the shiny new molars, unless my kiddo's laughing hysterically or screaming his brains out. (Which means that we do see them at least a few times each day... as life with a 4 year old is equal parts giggle-fit and hissy-fit.)
Although I'm glad it's done and that my child doesn't hate me, I'm still disappointed that I wasn't able to ward away the caries despite excellent dental hygeine. Brushing, flossing, fluoride rinsing... why did this still happen to my baby?
The dentist blames genetics. But I think that secretly, he blames me.
Or is it that, not-so-secretly, I still blame me? Such is the perpetual angst of motherhood.
Sometimes, our best may not be enough to change the inevitable. Difficult for any parent, to be sure. And as a physician, an especially tough pill to swallow...