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Causes of Decay and Prevention - Page 3

post #41 of 104
Se has some decay going on or what i thought was decay and its actually the enamel coming off. Her back molar and 4 front teethare effected so far it looks like her teeth are stripped. the backs are turning yellow and the one molar looks like someone chipped the enamel off with a chisel. the dentist says its weak enamel.
post #42 of 104

2nd round of decay in 21 mo old, 2 mos. after 4 front teeth extr'd

My poor son has been plagued with dental decay much earlier and to far greater extent that most children his age it seems. A history -- around his year birthday we noticed a brown spot on his front tooth. Pediatrician said nothing to worry about, so we didn't. Foolish move on our part, because by his 15 month appt all four front teeth showed decay at the gumline and the two teeth next to his front teeth were nothing but little brown nubs. The ped dentist was backed up three months so by the time we got in his mouth was a mess.

Surgery followed a month later, and after agonizing we decided to consent to have him put under. I could not imagine having him away while they extracted his four front teeth and filled several cavities on each of his back molars. He came through it remarkably well, was playing hockey and eating chinese food the evening of his surgery. I think it was harder on me that on him... Since his recovery we have been diligent about brushing at night, and not so on top of brushing during the day, much to my dismay. Now, just two month after said ordeal, I find that he has decay on the tooth in between his incisors (those are the pointy vampire type teeth, right?) and his molar. He's a heavy night nurser, and every time I have tried to deny him he ends up screaming himself into such a fit that I give in and let him have his "na-na's" I didn't want night weaning to be a traumatic thing and from everything I've read I shouldn't have to, but I find that I am really disappointed at having done right by his mouth by having all the decay cleared out only to find new decay a mere two months after their removal.

I guess my question is, I had asked the dentist about sealants but they said that they only do them on permanent teeth. Should I press to find a different dentist who will put the sealants on? At this rate the poor kid won't have any teeth left by the time his permanent set starts to come in and the gapin hole in the front where his four front teeth should be is already a conversation starter when we're out and about.

He just seems so young to have so much decay. What am I doing wrong? I'm at my wits end. Shoudl I press to night wean since he seems so sensitive to decay? That's about the only time he weans these days and I'm reluctant to give it up, but I don't want to cost him his teeth for that reason either...I'm obviously going to step up brushing to fend off any further decay, and I guess I should head back to the dentist to see how they suggest handling this little bit -- hopefully it's small enough that they can just use nitrous and it won't be too traumatic for him. I just don't have a sense of how best to do right by him anymore.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.
post #43 of 104

a child is more than teeth

post #44 of 104
teeth are strange things aren't they?
as a child i ate approximately 12 billion pounds of sugar a year, and never had a cavity. by all accounts, i should have dentures by now!
post #45 of 104
have you checked out the archives?? there is a lot of helpful advice in there. My son is 2 and has one cavity that i have noticed and even that is devastating to me. It must be real difficult for you. Just know, you are doing the best you can, as long as you keep processed refined foods to the bare minimum and avoid sugary foods--especially the sticky kind, and brush and floss his teeth you are doing the best you can. good luck!
post #46 of 104
yes, I"ve been through the archives, both by browsing and searching. I can't seem to find any posts about people who have had some form of dental work and/or extractions on a child this young and then had another cavity within a couple of months.

I've never given him raisins or other dried fruit, I don't give him juice very often and if I do it's really just a tiny bit of juice in water, not even a quarter juice. Never soda or anything like that. I am extremely conscious of his dental woes and have screened out the candy that our family seems to insist on giving him for holidays and whatnot and have been adamant in telling them all that he simply may not have any of that junk. (I'm almost relieved that he has the dental problems because I really don't want him eating that stuff anyway.) Maybe some day they'll get the hint and stop bringing it.

Anyway, I was just surprised that he got another cavity so fast and wanted to see if anyone else had this experience and if that means I should just give up and stop nursing at night. Which means weaning him. I've tried refusing to nurse at night and it's just a disaster, he screams and wails until I give in, and hten sobs even after he falls asleep. It breaks my heart.

Thanks for your note...
post #47 of 104
I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find a dentist who's willing to do sealants on primary teeth. After all, the customer is queen!

Your story sounds like a real nightmare. Please, don't blame yourself. There may not be any threads here about your specific problem, but there are plenty in which it becomes abundantly clear that some kids get cavities no matter what, while others are just waaaay lucky. You seem to be doing a hell of a job, and your son is lucky to have a conscientious, caring mama like you. Many kids with his bad dental luck are probably much less lucky on the parent side, and those are the ones that end up on the photos designed to scare us into not nightnursing (I've seen them on the web).

It seems that nightnursing may make bad teeth a little worse a little quicker, but they probably will anyway. If that's what keeps you both happy, by all means keep doing it. I cannot believe that nature designed our bodies so that we destroy our kids' teeth, and arguments that state the opposite probably come from the same camps that also say that kids need food supplementation at 6 weeks old.

Good luck.
post #48 of 104
my good friend had almost the exact same experience. He son was a little older though--24 months. She made the decision to have surgery and had him put under, but her dentist DID put sealants on his teeth. At that time she had also stopped night nursing. i dont know what to say, find a dentist who will do sealants on, Also, have you heard about a topical flouride gel that hardens the teeth??--thats a touchy issue though---to flouride or not to flouride.
post #49 of 104
I'm sorry to hear of all the trouble that you are having. I will keep you in my prayers. My daughter also has troubles with decay. She's been having fillings every 6 mos. I've read that bacteria are responsible for the decay. I'm wondering if giving her a pro-biotic (good bacteria like acidophilus and bifidus) will help prevent it. Shaklee makes a very good one called Optiflora that is so tiny that my 4 year old thinks they are fun to swallow. She is a heavy night time nurser also. It is so important to her, I can't make her quit. The pro-biotic seems worth a try anyway. I don't think that it could hurt.

Best Wishes!
post #50 of 104

? re: tea tree oil rinse

I want to start using this, but am unsure as to how many drops of tea tree oil to use in how much water? Any suggestions? I did a search, but none of the posts mentioning this gave any sort of guidelines. Thanks for any help you can give me!
post #51 of 104

Please Please Please Help!!!

I wrote a post a couple of months ago about my son's chipped tooth causing pain while nursing. He is 18 mos. He has never been to a dentist. Mostly because we are terrified to subject him to it at such a young age. He is a very very independent child-very active, very willful- and will not even allow us to brush his teeth without severe protest. However, I am a little more open to bringing him to the dentist than my husband.

Our problem has now grown. Recently I noticed another piece of my son's previously 'chipped' tooth hanging off by a thread. I don't know how this new piece broke off, but apparently it didn't take much effort- no falls, accidents. It just broke off. This makes me feel that the original damage to the tooth wasn't just a chip, but rather that there is something wrong with the quality of his teeth- too soft, brittle. I am really freaking out. I don't know what to do and I just now noticed another tooth- the one next to his left front tooth is all ragged on the bottom. Both of these teeth are all brown on the bottom and back. I am beating myself up feeling like it's my fault for not being able to curb my own sweet tooth and all the sugar in my milk during night nursing has caused his teeth to be so bad. I am totally beside myself with guilt.

I have been trying to practice good oral hygiene with my son but as I said, he will not allow me to put anything in his mouth without a fight. The only way I can get him to 'brush' his teeth is if I give him his toothbrush and model by brushing mine at the same time. He mostly just puts the brush in the back of his mouth near his molars and sometimes brushes, sometimes chews on it. He violently opposes if I try to gently guide his hand to brush his front teeth, or if I try to help in any way. I can't force him because it is just not a pretty picture and it feels abusive of me to try and do so. And I don't want to force anything on him that will cause bad associations with tooth brushing.

Is it even possible to RESTORE his dental health? Will the teeth keep chipping? What kind of herbs/vitamins/supplements can I use to improve his teeth? I'm trying to work on less night nursing and have cut out sugar completely from my diet. (He only ever gets minimal/occasional fruit sugars in his own. No juice, only water.) What kind of procedures would we be faced with if we did go to a dentist? I am so terrified of it because we are very very low income an have basically the 'po folks health plan' which has crappy dentists on it and I just can't see taking my son to a dentist who isn't gentle and sympathetic to him still nursing and his fierce independent nature. I couldn't bear to see him strapped to a board screaming. All the dentists on our list are men. I'm so absolutely freaked out right now and don't know what to do, where to turn. I don't want my son's teeth to all turn brown and fall out by the time he is two! WHAT CAN I DO?????
post #52 of 104
I hope somebody gives you some good advice, because I don't really know what to tell you. But, my daughter was the same way about brushing her teeth as your son, and what has helped is that I brush my teeth while she "brushes" hers, then we switch, and I brush her teeth while she brushes mine. I've also heard of people having success by naming or counting the teeth and greeting them each time. You couls also let him choose two or three toothbrushes from the store, then he can choose which one to use each day... Hope that helps.
post #53 of 104

You can do this!

I know how scary and intimidating and frightening this is because I've been dealing with it myself. You have to take this one step at a time. First step: Take a deep breath. Your choices are limited, but do you know for sure that none of the dentists you can see are nice, gentle, respectful people? You don't know for sure until you start taking steps.

Remember who is in charge, all the time. You are the mom. That doesn't change when you walk in the door of the dentist's office. Worst case scenario, if a dentist who told you he would be kind and gentle and respectful suddenly changes his mind, you can *and you will* pick up your child and walk out the door. Can you do that? Of course you can. It wouldn't be easy but you could do it for your child.

First, find out what your insurance (or whatever they're calling the "po' folks plan" these days!) will cover. Somehow my son has seen four different dentists in one month and my insurance covered each visit even though they all did the same thing. "Oh, yeah, that's a problem. Sorry, can't do that for you, try somewhere else."

Then get a list of dentists under your coverage and start calling. Write down what you want to say before you call; it won't help to ask about anything medical (like "Will he need fillings?") but you can say things like "I'll need to stay with my child at all times, is the dentist comfortable with that?" Also be sure they know how old he is and that he is very active, and that they are willing to deal with that; one of the dentists we went to was happy to do a cleaning on a four year old but nothing else. Nice little waste of time that was.

Pick one at random. Start with the closest! Now, all of the receptionists will tell you that the dentist will answer your questions at the initial appointment. So don't schedule anything until your questions are answered because she'll just brush you off.

When you get someone who sounds promising, go ahead and make an appointment. Then decide on a phrase about breastfeeding that you like and feel comfortable with and memorize it. Something like "Breastfeeding is not an issue I'm willing to discuss. How can YOU help my son?" If the topic comes up, repeat that phrase over and over, no matter they say, and they will eventually get the point and move on to the important part, which is helping your child.

Take a notepad and pen with you and write down everything the dentist recommends. Tell him your Gramma the dental tech wants to know or something, if he thinks it's weird. This will help you remember everything and it also lets them know you're serious about this. Don't schedule anything on the day of the first appointment, tell them you want to talk it over with your husband and you will call the next day and schedule. That way you can post here, do research online, and actually talk it over with your husband and know for sure what you want done.

If you get to the bottom of the list and no one on it is willing to work with you, call your insurance back and tell them that. You have a right to these services.

Remember, one step at a time. You can do this! You are the Momma Bear, the Momma Tiger, and you can advocate for and protect your child!
post #54 of 104


Thanks so much... That was a lot of very good information. So much that I needed to hear. I got out the phonebook today and just sat and looked at some of the different ads in there for dentists. (I did look further into my dental plan and found out that my choices are not as restricted as I originally thought.... Thank goodness for that!!) That's as far as I got. We're going to start calling after the weekend probably and I will be using a lot of your strategies, Debbie. Thank you!!!

Keep the helpful info coming... I'll be needing it!
post #55 of 104
would it help to get him one of these fun battery operated toothbrushes that are in the shape of cars and he could pretend the car is driving around his mouth!!!
post #56 of 104
Mammachi, Sorry about your little guy.I know your agony all too well! My daughters teeth started out the same way. Don't beat your self up over your sweet tooth.My daughter and I don't consume any sugars(except fresh fruit)only starch is brown rice,and no refined or processed foods(juice and restaurants included)so go figure?This has been such a living nightmare but it is finally under control.I have tried everything under the sun, and last dental visit the dentist said it is rare to happen but the decay has gone into remission.Here is what I have been using on her for the past six months-for brushing I use the eccodent tooth powder followed by a rinse of The Natural Dentist cherry mouth rinse. If he won't brush try using a warm wash cloth or organic Qtips.They work great.Twice a day I grind salt with a pestal and pack the infected teeth(this seems to have helped them more than anything else).Daily I break open a capsule of propolis and sprinkle it in her mouth-she loves it.We also take fresh pollen daily.I also give her alfalfa/horsetail tea. Very important for strenghtening the teeth and fighting off carries I give her the Hylands homeopathic bioplasma -two tablets 3x a day.I give her a multi vit daily,but I also sprinkle her food daily with the Dr.Bronners calcium magnesium powder.I also give her the teatree zinc lozonges after a meal several times a week.I also change out her tooth brush once a week and rinse it with grapefruit seed extract after each use.Fresh greens are important daily for the enymes, and avoid antihistamines at all costs while nursing because they will destroy the ph balance of the mouth resulting in high acidity and the bad bacteria will flourish.Hang in there!
post #57 of 104
I would judge by taste.
We did this until my daughter night weaned. (turned out to be short time)
We continued useing it as a mouth wash while we were out- but it was obvious when I put too much, it tasted awfully.
I think I used about 5 drops per 8 ounce bottle- but I just amde this up.
good luck
post #58 of 104
THANK YOU for an answer!! I was afraid of using too much.
post #59 of 104
I would love it if someone could explain how to use this...dd just got her first tooth and is still nursing around the clock...I assume the tea tree fights bacteria better than just plain water...do you do it daily or after each nursing? Thanks so much if you have time to reply!
post #60 of 104

21 mo old with holes in front tooth!!!AAGH!

I found a hole in one of ds's front teeth! the front top four have been a little yellowed for awhile now, and now this! He has all but last set of molers in so far. I will admit that we haven't been militant enough with brushing, he hates it but we try every night. Since I found this I've been forcing it every night with me pinning him down (after trying a zillion other things! of course!) and brushing them. i don't know what else to do! I don't want to traumatize him this way.
I guess the next step is finding a pediatric dentist right?
The hole isn't discolored, other htan yellow yet. but I am terrified of my boy having black teeth for the next 5 years, or surgery/dental trauma. I was severly traumatized by doctors early on and have dealt with this all my life. I think that's why I;'ve been so lax about forcing him to brush. i guess I didn't think it would happen to my kid, ya know? He doesn't get juice except on special occasions, and of course no candy! Lots of dried fruits though, which we'll have to stop. Im so lost on the flouride issue. our water contains it, but we use herbal non-flouride toothpaste. So far my family is blaming the nursing and lack of flouride. IM LOST HERE MAMAS!! i'm not sure what to do now, or what could/will happen. How rapidly will this tooth decay? are the other teeth next?? my poor baby! I feel like I'll be judged too, and so will he! This of course is the least of my concerns , but still!
Thanks for any info!
Violeta8@aol.com if you wanna email me priv ya can !
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