My 28 month old son is on the brink of having major dental work done under GA. I have read many posts and feel less alone but really feel the need to make a personal connection with someone in my position. His top front four teeth are decaying and breaking away and extraction seems like the ped. Dentist preferred procedure. I feel awful, can't believe this is happening to our poor little guy, and feel as though this whole experience is a bad dream. Any support is much appreciated.
Oh you sweet mama....I am in the same boat and started to cry reading your post. Going through the same thing with my 15 month old. We have been diligent about brushing at least twice daily since her first tooth erupted, and I took her to the dentist for the first time last week after noticing some discoloration on her front teeth. I was not expecting to hear that it was the beginning of decay, and that all FOUR of her top teeth would need to be capped asap.
I am drowning in sorrow right now. To the point where I break down in tears throughout the day. I feel like a failure as a mother. My sweet girl is my life, and I'd rather cut off a limb than go through with the procedure.
We are desperately trying everything right now - xylitol throughout the day, brushing after EVERY meal, snack and nursing session along with immediately after naps, right when she wakes up and before bed at night. Pretty much 10-15 times a day! It's not fun and she fought me at first because I'm having to pin her down to get in there and do what I need to do, but what choice do I have at this point? :(
I have completely changed her diet - all she ate before was organic EVERYTHING and absolutely NO sugar and sweets ever, not even cake on her birthday, but now I've buckled down, cut out most of the fruit and am doing lots of dark green veggies. I'm on a mad hunt for pascalite clay and cell salts as we speak - I am desperate and willing to try anything. If other people can heal cavities, I am going to try my hardest before going through with the general anesthesia and capping of her teeth.
I feel your pain and heartache. I am right there with you. I am horrified. My thoughts go out to you! (((hugs)))
Yes, I completely understand and relate as well. My 2.5-year-old has significant decay on her top 4 teeth as well, and we're going to the dentist for a consult on Wednesday. I'm sure they'll suggest caps under GA, which like you is absolutely NOT what I want to happen. I've tried everything I can except for Green Pastures cod liver and butter oil which I've heard great things about but can't freaking afford. Now I think I see a cavity forming on one of her bottom teeth as well! I know I've been doing the best I can, but oh, the guilt!
Big HUGS and at least we can be a support for each other through this process.
So I just talked to her dentist and cancelled the appt for the GA capping. He kinda made me feel awful. But I'd feel even MORE awful if I didn't try my absolutel hardest to heal the cavitites first before resorting to this. I'm so torn right now.
I just want to attempt to give the other side of the story here.
I had toddler tooth decay (because I slept with a bottle as a baby). I had GA, teeth pulled, a few molars capped.
My adult teeth came in just fine, and I harbor no blame toward my mother.
Other than some funny pictures of me as a kid and the fact that I am vigilent about going to the dentist now, I really never think about it.
I know facing this procedure is probably upsetting to the mothers in this situation, but kids truly are resilient.
I agree that kids are resilient, absolutely. But the idea of putting my child under GA when she hasn't so much has had a dose of tylenol scares the hell out of me. I'm a mama who heals owies with coconut oil and breastmilk. The thought of anything this invasive is terrifying!
We have pascalite clay on the way and are using calcium bentonite clay while we wait for the pascalite. I have her on cell salts now as well. I also have an appt with another ped dentist on Wed to get another opinion. Will keep you all updated and crabbyowl - you are absolutely right, we will support each other through this!
Aww, so sorry about this! :( My dd was 3 when we discovered she had horrible teeth problems. Her face swelled up one night in agony and we took her in to the dentist to find she had an abscessed tooth and 6 cavities! I was the mom in my group who didn't give my kids pop or juice or bottles or candy, BF well into toddlerhood (and she was never a big night nurser), yet mine is the only one who had serious dental issues. It really makes me insecure and makes me feel like a bad Mom. The first dentist we went to was horrible, he was very stern and bossy to my dd, made her scream in terror because he nearly shouted at her to open her mouth, etc- he was such an idiot, he also insisted she HAD to have amalgam fillings. She was put on penicillin and the abscess pulled, which was really hard for me, I was not allowed in the room, she'd never had a needle before, she was terrified of strangers- but it was done fast. (She is allergic to penicillin, we found out, and she broke out in a horrid swelling rash.) We found a wonderful ped dentist who was great with children and our only option was surgery under general, as she needed so much work done and they didn't want more to abscess. The hospital had a program for children to prepare them for surgery- it was wonderful. I was assured I could accompany my dd right up to the surgery doors, they give her a drink with a sedative in it to help her stay calm as they wheeled her away- I was most afraid of her screaming as they wheeled her away. She didn't shed a tear as they wheeled her away, thankfully (I did!). They assured me they would bring me in to recovery as soon as she woke. They filled her cavities with white fillings, cleaned, polished, filed and sealed her teeth. While sitting in the recovery waiting area waiting on pins and needles for them to bring me in, I was worrying that it was taking awfully long for her to wake, plus there was this poor baby boy screaming for 30 minutes on the other side of the door (no windows) and I felt awful for the poor mother trying to calm him. Finally, they let me in and I discovered to my HORROR and OUTRAGE that it was MY DD who was screaming, (the anastetic makes them hoarse so I didn't recognize her cry at all)- they had left her screaming for 30 minutes while I paced waiting in the other room after they promised me I would be with her as soon as she woke. I was SO upset, I climbed right into the bed with her and rocked her and yelled at the nurses for leaving a tiny girl to scream for her mother for half an hour! It still angers and haunts me! :( I don't tell you this to scare you, but to make sure it doesn't happen to your child. Thankfully she didn't remember crying for me after the first day, she only remembered the pink popsicles she got once they moved her upstairs with me, but she had bad "white-coat syndrome" for a while (fear of doctors). I wrote a nasty letter to the hospital for their disgusting treatment of my child and the fact that they LIED to me in assuring me I would be with her as soon as she woke.
DD is 7 now and she hasn't had any more cavities since. She is much better around doctors now. She is totally fine getting dental stuff done (cleanings, exams). The ped dentist thinks the reason she has Enamel Hypoplasia (defective tooth enamel) is due to my heavy use of drugs during my pregnancy to control my asthma. I had to take several rounds of antibiotics for pneumonia and collapsed lung twice while pg with her, and was even exposed to radiation (inhaled and injected) for a VQ scan (suspected pulmonary embolism) at 7 months pg. All of these could have contributed to her poor teeth. So I know her dental issues could not be controlled, but I still feel guilty. I had similar problems during pg with my oldest and his teeth aren't so great either. He is 9 and has had 3 fillings so far, he had one at Christmas, and his regular 6 month cleaning appointment rolled around last week but he had a toothache- he had to get an abscessed tooth pulled! Plus he has at least 2 more cavities that need filling. It is really discouraging, I hate the way I perceive the dentist looks at me. My kids eat way healthier than their peers- we don't do pop, we rarely have juice, we don't do candy! We are religious about brushing every single day! It honestly makes me a little bitter that so many of my friends gave their kids juice in bottles, let their kids have all kinds of crap, add chocolate syrup to every cup of milk and their kids have sparkling white teeth and no cavities. While at the dentist last week I was looking through their Cavity Free photo album and I saw some kids from our town who I know from our church outreach, their parents drink and smoke their welfare $ away, neglect their kids, there's no way they are looking after their teeth- they just got lucky, and good tooth genes. Makes you wanna stomp your foot and whine "It's NOT fair!" And it's not. :( But try not to blame yourself. Obviously such a young child with a healthy diet and a serious dental issue, it was out of your control. Be kind to yourself, whichever way you decide to treat this, i hope it works out well, just be firm in how you expect your child to be treated and hold them to it. Know that you are a loving, doting Mommy who's child got unlucky teeth and you are doing everything in his best interest to take care of him! Hugs!
Alex 8 Gabby 6 (Homeborn!) Gideon 2.... chickens, ducks, cats and a dog
Going through the same thing with my 3 yr old dd. My ped dentist is recommending chloral hydrate conscious sedation to do about an hours worth of dental work. What ended up happening in your situations? Completely terrified and just can't stop obsessing about this. I am terrified of the damn novocaine let alone the sedation medication. Hope all went well with your children!!!
My 3-year-old is scheduled to do IV sedation in the dentist's office to cap his front 4 top teeth and get (at least) one of his back teeth filled. The first dentist we went to wanted to do GA in the hospital, but our medical insurance wouldn't pay. It would have been close to $25,000 to pay for this out of pocket, so I was relieved with the in-office option that will cost us about $1300 instead.
DS is going to get the type of caps that are stainless steel on the back and white on the front. At first I was very upset about this because I have been diligent about brushing his teeth, not letting him drink anything but water and breast milk, but I also knew something was a bit off about his front teeth and I should have taken him to the dentist earlier. So, I'm feeling pretty guilty and worried that his capped teeth will look weird.
I have seen children with silver streaks in their front teeth and wondered why a dentist would do that. Now I know that the white part can chip off and expose some of the silver. I just keep telling myself that a little silver is better than brown or black front teeth! And DS's overall health is more important than how he looks. My DH said that all of the cousins on his mom's side of the family had black teeth when they were kids and my MIL had to have all of her teeth pulled when she was little. So, it is at least partly genetic.
To the OP, have you been to another dentist? Is extraction really the only option available? I felt so much better after getting a second opinion. We went to two pediatric dentists, one older and one younger. Both recommended the same type of treatment, but the younger dentist had the in-office IV sedation option. They have an anesthesiologist come in the administer the IV sedation and monitor the vital signs while the dentist does the dental work.
I found this website pretty helpful http://cyberdentist.blogspot.com/2006/06/white-crowns-for-baby-teeth.html and I'll let you know how it goes.
I am reluctantly in your shoes as well. We are in the process of getting my 16 month old in for GA in a hospital to have his top 2 molars root canaled and crowned and fillings on the bottom 2. His molars came in like that, but they have worn so much that his nerves are exposed and he screams at the sight of a toothbrush. It is awful. It might be a good month until he can have it taken care of. I am horrified and feel depressed.
DS had his dental work done on Friday and everything went well. No complications and his teeth look great. I am greatly relieved.
Everything went smoothly, but it was still a little hard for me. We went into the room and had to hug him while they gave him a shot in the back. He got really drowsy and hazy-glazy. That was the worst part. Then once he was pretty out of it, DH and I went into the waiting room. It took about 45 minutes until he woke up a bit and we could go in and see him. He was really unhappy about feeling "wobbly" and kept saying "Why am I so wobbly, I don't like being wobbly!" My DH tried to hold him while I talked to the nurse, but after a few minutes, DH was saying that it was too hard to hold him because he was thrashing around and trying to get down. Good thing I brought my wrap, so even at 8 months pregnant, I could wrap up my 3-year-old and he was safe and secure and I could help him hold his head up (yay babywearing!)
Took a couple of hours for the wobbly part to clear up, but we just went home, watched a little TV and then took a nap. Once he woke up from his nap, he was pretty much back to his usual self. His mouth was a little sore and we gave him Advil for most of the weekend and he was a little more tired and cranky than usual.
The best part is his teeth look great. The front four were starting to decay and look brown in between the teeth. The crowns are stainless steel in the back and white on the front. The white part looks really good and you can't really see the silver part unless you are looking at him upside down and he has his mouth wide open. He had a little bleeding along the gum line, but I think it bothered me a lot more than it bothered him.
So all-in-all I am really pleased and relieved at how well everything went. DS doesn't seem to remember anything about it except getting his green balloon and seems proud to show everyone his new teeth. He just says he went to the dentist to get his teeth fixed and he got a balloon. And I'm hopeful we can keep on top of his oral care so we don't have to do this again!
We had work done on our 18 month old. She had over about 4 months completely lost one tooth to the gumline and there were three other teeth I could see with significant decay. It also turned out there were two other teeth badly decayed with soft spots right into the root. She ended up with 3 teeth pulled, 2 root canals and fillings.
She recovered same day, and has been happier since than we had seen her in 5+ months. I really think they were hurting her. She had gone all quite and sullen and didn't smile much. After the work was done she was bouncing around and happier than I've ever seen her (and it's been over a month now). I am so glad we had it done.
We had about 4 months waiting for the work to be scheduled (they didn't want to do GA before 18 months) and we tried so many things. The decay just got worse and worse though.
Anyhow I wanted to share this happy mamma story. I am sad she had to have surgery, but she managed it well, and it all turned out fine.
We went in for the procedure on July 5th, and it really couldn't have gone better. The worst part was having to be there at 5:30 AM!
The medicine to sedate her before they took her in made her a little loopy, and she would keep looking at DH and breaking into giggles - so funny. The nurse took her away lying down in a well-cushioned wagon and gave her some stickers and star-shaped sunglasses, which she got a kick out of. They brought her back before she woke up so we were the first thing she saw. She was back to her old self by the end of the day, which I'm certain is because all she wanted to do was nurse for most of the day. We went back earlier today for a checkup and she's doing great.
Once again I'm glad she's so laid back. She takes pretty much everything in stride, and I made sure to go over with her beforehand what would be happening so she'd know what to expect. I'm still glad it's done, though.
Do your children have to go under GA? My daughter is 3 and we just got back from having 8 cavities done using conscious sedation (chloral hydrate). The procedure went well and with the chloral hydrate and nitrous, she slept through the entire procedure. The hour after giving the meds is tough because they get very agitated before they become drowsy but other then that, it went very smoothly. She had 8 cavities filled and it took about an hour. She is now home sleeping but not in any pain at all. Hope this helps. I think it is a good option for those uncomfortable with GA.
Every few hours after the procedure she'd say her teeth hurt, so I'd give her an OTC pain reliever and she'd be fine. She only mentioned them hurting for the first day or so after the procedure.
ETA: She had the front top four teeth removed and several caps put on.
My son had capps put on his top front teeth when he was a year old (2010), he done just fine with the procedure. Well now (2012) he has to go next Friday to get the four top teeth pulled because there is an abcess abve each one. I am so scared because im afraid there is something else that could be done. But as i look on the internet i see that its the best thing to do because the abcess could spread to major parts of the body. I just hate that my pecious boy has to go thru this :(
I don't know about extraction, but you may to contact Dr. Kotlow in NY. He uses lasers, negating the use for GA. Laser create a pain-free or almost pain environment for a child. He's outspoken about being against GA for little ones in his office. No one in his office is ever put to sleep. We were going to use him for frenectomy for our son because of this. Our son's upper decay is caused by his lip tie. We were going to make a 12 hours trip to get it done just to avoid the GA. But, we found a closer practitioner.
Here's his website with a little bit about laser. http://www.kiddsteeth.com/dental_topics.html . I know uses it for cavities and root canals.
I've found his staff to be extremely helpful with the dentist replying personally to my emails. If he's not close to you, perhaps he could recommend someone who is?
I would also consider getting a second opinion, maybe with a holistic or biological dentist. We use a local biological dentist and he said as long the decay itself slows or halts, and there is no abscess, then the baby teeth can remain and can actually be natural spacers for the permanent teeth.
Super big hugs to you. I know your pain all too well and very few understand the agony that comes specifically with watching your child's teeth decay and crumble.
First off, our regular dentist ( not a pediatric ) is a good friend so we trust him - said that sedation is LESS safe than GA!! Ok- think about it- an anesthesiologist and hospital staff trained in emergency procedures or a dentist and his assitant in the office??? It is freaky- I am totally scared, but GA with a real anesthesiologist is actually safe- statistically about 80 times safer than riding in a car.
You cannot cure really bad cavities, only tiny ones, my dentist said.
I feel your pain- we have been to several dentists who clearly think I am some kind of crackhead. One even told me there was no way this could have happened unless I put soda in her bottle. Please... My d has never had soda or candy. Never. My mom out me to bed with a bottle every night and didn't brush my baby teeth and I never had one cavity. My husbands baby teeth all rotted out. Our dentist knows us and our lifestyle. We are super in to natural food. He said in dental school he was taught that there is no genetic component to tooth decay but after seeing our daughter he is changing his mind.
We have been "waiting" until she was as old as possible, but a piece just broke off her front tooth and though it is not killing her, it is sensitive. So we're are going to have the work done soon, under GA, before she is in any serious pain.
You don't want your kid to be in pain, it is miserable having to brush four times a day, I am not happy but I have decided to embrace modern medicine on this one. Just make sure you get a real anethesiologist.
Hi I feel better reading about everyone's experiences. My son has been very healthy and we feed him only organic. I started brushing his teeth as soon as he got them. At his 2 year old dentist appt his teeth were fine, right after he turned 3 I noticed some decay and took him to the dentist. He has the beginning of cavities and has a watch on several teeth, they did the flouride treatment which caused some brown spots on his teeth. At this point they are just watching his teeth. My husband is very much against flouride toothpaste. He was ok with the dentist doing the 1 time treatment in the office but refuses to use flouride toothpaste. I have been trying some natural mouthwashes. We brush often and really curb the sweets.
One thing that I did do was purchase the Sonicare for Kids toothbrush, since buying myself a Sonicare about 6 years ago I have not had any problems and I feel like it does a great job. The Sonicare for Kids is good because it's timed so you know you have brushed for the full 2 minutes. I'm hopeful it will make a difference. The toothbrush is a big investment (about $75) plus you need to replace the brushheads but if it helps it worth the money.
Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories I can very much relate in feeling sad and like a failure, wishing I could go back in time and do things differently. I can also relate to feeling it's unfair when you see parents feeding kids candy and their children have perfect teeth! I'm trying to keep things in perspective.
I am agonizing about my 3-year-old's dental surgery in 2 days. He's having 6 teeth extracted and lot of other work. I would really appreciate any advice or anything you would be kind enough to share with me about your child's -and your- experience. Truly, Melissa firstname.lastname@example.org.
I read your post. I am in a similar situation. I nursed my daughter. But I never gave her juice or candy or anything. I really feel I've failed as a mother. I wish I could go back and change things.
However, I wanted to know what did you finally do with your child and her tooth decay?
Any tips would help. Please.
I understand your suffering but many times cavities jsut happen because of genetic predisposition and not something your done.
Yes, GA is scary, but if you look at the stats, GA is very safe. I must say, GA is safe in the hospital setting. My dentist would not use GA for such small child in her office. You want an anesthesiologist or Nurse Anesthetist present during GA.
My son had caps and removals simply with gas and local. It went well.
He has GA for something else in the hospital.
Remember, dental abscess is far worse and dangerous.
My five year old daughter has very good teeth without any cavities. I do wonder if my little boy simply has weak teeth (like me - prone to cavities unlike my husband). Also due to concerns over his growth I was happier to allow my little boy sugary yoghurts and desserts for eg which I would never have given my daughter at such a young age (around 15-20 months), to try to increase his calorie intake and I also had such thoughts as "well, at least there's calcium in that" etc. I was much stricter with my daughter who was less of a fussy eater and had no such growth issues.
Other background info on our case: a very unhelpful NHS dentist didn't sound the alarm when the first signs of decay were noticeable at 1.5 years - putting the light stains on my little one's front teeth down to Fluorosis and asking me to return in 6 months for the next check up... By that time the situation had worsened and I was finding myself referred to a dental hospital for possible extractions for my son. I feel let down by the dentist but ultimately I should have been more proactive at the time and asked for a second opinion - totally my fault.
So, I had my pre-assessment meeting at the hospital where my little boy will have the operation this morning and although the nurse I met was very reassuring it was just awful. I feel so sick thinking of what my poor son will soon have to go through :-( It's especially hard to think about it as he's so small for his age - it makes me scared that the general anaesthetic will hit him harder than a more robust child of his age. I just wondered how it went for the person who started this thread? I found it very helpful reading all of the responses and found it helpful to find others online going through what I'm currently going through. It would be useful to hear years down the line from those whose little ones went through such surgery, or even anyone whose child has recently gone through something like this.
If anyone has any helpful advice regarding steps taken to prevent further decay after surgery (apart from the obvious brushing!) I would also be very grateful. I took my son to a private dentist recently and he said that my son's diet needed to be looked at carefully regarding how often acids were in his mouth from snacks containing sugar for eg (inc fruit sugar - which would be the culprit in our case, as my son used to eat a lot of fruit - including raisins and other dried fruit), and also any carbs which quickly become sugar. I was also thinking of trying something like fermented cod liver oil and butter oil which is apparently very beneficial... though I'm not quite sure how I'd get something like that down him!
Finally (sorry - this is a long one, so thanks for sticking with me if you are still reading!!) I breastfed both of my children until 22 months, both during the night, and the private dentist I took my son to discovered an upper lip tie which he thought might have contributed to pooling of breast milk in the mouth (my son also needs cavities filling in his upper incisors). I doubt breast milk alone is responsible but the lip tie was still an interesting discovery so late in the day!
Any advice going forwards would be really appreciated. I want to avoid any further decay obviously so right now I'm wondering if I should just give fruit at mealtimes for eg and seriously look at the diet of our whole family - and cut snacking (we're all grazers in my family, which means we all have acids in our mouth pretty frequently (fruit mainly) which I now see clearly in my son's case has caused tooth decay...). I wondered if those of you whose little ones have had surgery managed to avoid further decay? Also - did anyone's child have any orthodontic problems (or do you know anyone whose child had to wear a brace as a result of primary molars being extracted)? I just fear that new teeth will start to drift into the spaces left by the extractions and have been told that at this stage my son will be too young for a space maintainer and all of his second molars are not through yet anyway...
Thanks very much for reading!
A few things that I tried were the kids sonicare toothbrush, It's about $75 plus you need to change the brush heads but if it prevents dental work in a kid it's worth every penny. I think it's worth it to buy the sonicare as apposed to cheaper electric toothbrushes. I also tried having him swish with coconut oil. It's called 'oil pulling' and it is suppose to kill bacteria in the mouth. I do this myself for about 20 min a day. A kid is not going to swish with anything for 20 minutes but I was able to get my son to swish for a few minutes while watching TV. I'm on the fence about the flouride, I did use a flouride rinse for a while but I think a xylitol rinse is just as effective and it kills bacteria which is what leads to cavities. Flouride is suppose to strengthen weak spots but it doesn't kill the bacteria that causes it. Check your child's breath in the morning, if his breath smells bad the culprit to his tooth decay is most likely bacteria and I would focus on taking steps to reduce the bacteria in his mouth, oil pulling and xylitol. When my son first started having dental issues his breath did smell in the morning but since I've started using the sonicare, oil pulling and xylitol it's much improved. My son also LOVES fruit he could live on oranges, bananas and apples and I haven't taken any steps to limit snacking or fruit. I feel like that is going to be a losing battle since once your child starts school snacking will be hard to avoid. I hope this helps. I understand how difficult this is to go through, I was very upset as well.
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