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Parent refuses to follow Dentist Orders, joint custody.

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JICQuestion

Registered User
State: Florida
Divorced, joint custody 50/50 shared time, alternate weeks

My son was having recurrent cavities, he was getting something filled every 3 months! This was with a dentist his dad had selected
I changed dentist, my ex didn't oppose me (I consulted with him before the change), but since the change he has refused to go to any of the appointments, which is fine, just providing context

The new dentist prescribed no Gluten, no Dairy and no cane sugar, I gave one copy of the prescription to the dad and one to the school
The dad pretended to follow instructions, he even called a meeting at the school about the dietary restrictions. I did my part and the cavities stopped.
But after a few months he stopped following and told me he will not be following that diet and that he will not stop giving him cake, oreos and other cookies every day, unfortunately I don't have that in written.

The dentist is insisting we need to follow the diet, but I cannot get the dad to comply
What can I do? now we are talking about permanent teeth now, the child is 11 and he is in the spectrum, he is autistc, so dental visits are particularly traumatic.
The dad is in total denial that the child is autistic, although he was diagnosed at 3yo and it is very obvious that he is. At the moment I am the one taking him every 6 months. We are using the dad's insurance, there is no co-payment, so there is no financial disagreement

How can I help my son?! TIA
 
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cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
Do you understand that, unless they have been put in the form of a court order, a dentist's recommendations are not legally binding?
 

commentator

Senior Member
And they sound just a tad.....extreme. Has your child been determined to be celiac by his other doctors?

Quote: "The dentist is going at me for not following the diet."

Any mother of an eleven year old on the autism spectrum trying to work joint custody needs to be nagged. ordered, gone at by her son's dentist? Instructed to put him on a very extreme elimination diet? I think you need to find another dentist.
 
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Gail in Georgia

Senior Member
As a registered dietitian (now retired), the recommendation by a dentist for an 11 year to avoid dairy and gluten is, frankly, nutritional nonsense. Sugar..possibly. But this gluten nonsense has gotten WAAAAY out of hand even for adults.

I've spoken to dental groups when I was in private practice. They seemed to be the only dinner group that had an open bar (and enjoyed it!); perhaps needed after looking into oral cavities all day long. But many of them admitted their knowledge of nutrition was a bit, well, lacking.

I agree with the suggestion to seek another dentist in an attempt to determine why so frequent cavities.

Gail
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
And they sound just a tad.....extreme. Has your child been determined to be celiac by his other doctors?

Quote: "The dentist is going at me for not following the diet."

Any mother of an eleven year old on the autism spectrum trying to work joint custody needs to be nagged. ordered, gone at by her son's dentist? Instructed to put him on a very extreme elimination diet? I think you need to find another dentist.
I would not have followed the dentist's instructions on the child's diet at all, without consulting the child's pediatrician. Cutting out cane sugar is one thing, cutting out gluten and dairy is entirely another. My doctor says that no one should go gluten free unless they have celiac disease, or dairy free unless they are lactose intolerant. On top of that, gluten free products tend to be loaded with a lot more sugar than their counterparts.
 

JICQuestion

Registered User
I appreciate the responses, but the point stands that once I eliminated gluten the cavities stopped. We have one forming now after a whole year cavity free
The dentist is awesome, and has not harassed me at all, he is frustrated, as I am , that the other parent will not follow the instructions. Sorry If I came across as if he was nagging me. The dentist is not the problem at all.
Pediatrician says if it worked, it worked.
There is plenty documentation of the link between gluten with dental health, but again, that is besides the point

In any case, I have a dentist giving written instructions and the other parent is not following, that is the real issue here.
If I decide to put this in the form of a court order, how would I do that?

I am not sure I will go that route, just exploring to see what I can do
 
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cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
You cannot put it in the form of a court order. You have to go to court and convince the judge that there is sufficient reason for him (or her) to order it. And if the judge will not, then Dad does not have to follow the dentist's recommendations. The dentist's "instructions" written or not, are not binding on Dad until a judge says they are.
 

JICQuestion

Registered User
You cannot put it in the form of a court order. You have to go to court and convince the judge that there is sufficient reason for him (or her) to order it. And if the judge will not, then Dad does not have to follow the dentist's recommendations. The dentist's "instructions" written or not, are not binding on Dad until a judge says they are.
Thank you,
Is this because its coming from a dentist? If a pediatrician or other specialist order it, would that have more weight with a judge?

I was trying having to do more tests for my son if at all possible. There is celiac and lactose intolerance in the family so I really don't need more convincing. But it seems the dad does
 

commentator

Senior Member
What you would need to have here, for the special eating plan to happen during his custody time, much more possible than a court order, is buy-in from Dad that this style of eating is really necessary and is really what your mutual child needs. If he's not going to be on board with this, then it will not work. You and your dentist cannot force it. You will not find this an issue where you're going to be able to just get a court order very easily. If I were hearing this in court, I'd ask you for a whole lot more convincing information about what is going on than you've presented here, and ask for lots more convincing proof that this diet is necessary and important. Because what an eleven year old eats isn't easy to control as a baby's diet, and a whole lot of "you can't eat this" and "You can't have any that" isn't going to be easy or fun or well liked by the child, who is old enough to raise a fuss about it.

Yes, people who are really truly committed to gluten free sometimes believe that it helps their oral health. You and your dentist believe so. It's probably not a bad idea to avoid sugar in your child's diet, no matter what else. I myself am not tolerant of dairy products. However, you have a father who will not even accept, as you say, the idea that this child is on the autism spectrum. Who actually tried to cooperate with you up to a certain point. Who is now refusing to do so. He probably has his reasons, which he'd be glad to share with the court.

But essentially, if he has the child half the time, and you cannot even get him to buy into that idea, that he is going to buy into the necessity of a special diet to avoid poor dental health is not going to be likely. If you cannot convince us here on this website to accept that your child's cavities are sufficient reason to put him on what is actually a very strict, very different than normal kids eat, very restrictive diet simply because it will KEEP HIM FROM GETTING CAVITIES IN HIS TEETH, (you and the dentist believe) I doubt if a judge will accept it easily either. I repeat the question, what does the child's regular doctor have to say about this special diet? Is the child truly celiac? And I keep going back to, who is your dentist to you and how is he having the right to "insist" about anything in your child's life?
 
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torimac

Member
When you eliminate two categories from your child's diet and the result is less cavities, you cannot claim it is both the gluten free and sugar free diet. It might just be the sugar free. You may just have the perception that it is both. Only a real elimination diet can tell you what really helps. Of course, less processed sugar is better and gluten (usually breads) can have lots of sugar.
 

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