Is it necessary to fix/fill cavities in "baby" teeth? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 64 Old 01-06-2007, 08:20 PM
 
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Treat - yes
Fix (fill or cap) - sometimes

2 years ago my 3yo had rapid decay (over 3 mos) and fell and chipped 3 out of 4 of his front teeth. My (adult) dentist blamed it on night nursing. I went to a fantastic pediatric dentist who didn't.

This was 2 years ago and we've been doing ONE thorough brushing at night with topical fluoride before bed and the caries on his incisors have hardened and last year we filled the molars with nitrous in the dentist's office.

Sequence:
1 year appt pediatrician noticed reduced enamel on backs of front uppers advice: stop nursing him at night. Took DS to my (adult) dentist who advice: stop nursing him at night and see me in 6 mos.

3 months later: Ds fell and chipped 3 of his front teeth - they looked horrible! Took him immediately to my dentist and got an immediate referral and appt to a wonderful pediatric dentist. He scraped out a bit of the softest decay and gave us APF (acidulated phosphorous fluoride 1.2%) and said it was not the worst he'd seen that remineralized, but 8/10.

2y3m: incisors were hardened, but molars were just a little bit better so we filled with composite with nitrous oxide - DS did great. Pediatric dentist said it's more difficult to get molars to remineralize than incisors.

2y4m: nightweaned

3y3m (now): DS has an appointment next week for a big boy cleaning. Still no sign of softness on the front teeth or new spots of decay. The former caries are black, but plenty hard.

I think it is absolutely necessary to TREAT the caries. Look at diet, habits and eliminate juice (although my DS only had BM or water when he had his decay), frequent carb snacks, increase xylitol and pay attention to mouth hygene including at least one super good brushing before bed. You can still night nurse, but from www.brianpalmerdds.com adding BM on top of food does contribute to caries, BM on clean teeth does not. We DID hold DS down to brush his teeth.

For us, topical fluoride was key. A teeny drop once a day with the night time brushing (we did it 2-3x a day in the beginning to get things under control).

As far as FIXING teeth, we went both ways. On the molars which were only getting slightly harder, we chose to fix because he's going to have those teeth for many years to come before they fall out. For the fronts, which will be his first to fall out, we chose not to 'fix' because the caries had remineralized (hardened) and caps would just be aesthetic.

Even if you 'fix' teeth with fillings or caps, little mouths are still at risk because unless you change the environment, caries can still come back. If you 'treat' the little one with changes in diet, oral hygene, etc you're reducing the opportunity for caries to form.

In our case, DS mouth was acidic most of the time, apparently something we share. We've been adressing this tendancy to acidity with diet and have made improvements with that as well. For him, this was part of his treatment.

Hope that helps.

Alaskan Mom to 2 boys
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#62 of 64 Old 01-06-2007, 09:44 PM
 
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Good info. I have been watching son's diet as well. I am trying to do the best we can to keep from doing GA for awhile.

Do you have to get a prescription for topical flouride? I asked the first dentist we went to about this b/c I had heard about it before , but they just acted as if they should do GA. That is aggravating b/c I had thot that would have been good for him months ago!!

Maybe I can call one of the consulting dentists we saw to see if we can get a prescrip. Thanks so much for sharing the details of your story. Maybe it can help us, boy I sure hope it can!

I'm a single working mom of 3 wonderful kiddos. 

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#63 of 64 Old 01-08-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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I get the APF directly from our dentist.

Alaskan Mom to 2 boys
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#64 of 64 Old 01-08-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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I think my son has a cavity. His dad has bad teeth and I've been worried about Nick's because they seem "thin" to me. At any rate, he has a small brown spot on a molar and I think it's a cavity, but our dentist's office doesn't want to see him until June (though if Dr. Bell had made the appointment, I think he'd have done it earlier; the person in charge of scheduling very arbitrarily said that she prefered to wait until he was three unless he was in pain).
It bothers me greatly to know that people will blame night nursing and letting him brush his own teeth at his own pace (though I do follow up if he isn't thorough, I never fight him on it) when it's painfully obvious to anyone who knows our family that nothing will help daddy's teeth while my teeth are seemingly indestructible.

I'm not even posting about this on the board where I keep a journal because I don't want to be judged.

I was coming here today to see if it was okay to wait 6 months and it seems the consensus of this thread is yes. I know that our dentist won't drill unless it is absolutely necessary, he was my dentist as a child and NEVER made me do anything I was uncomfortable with or that caused me discomfort.
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