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

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#1 of 64 Old 10-15-2006, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Both my boys have cavities in their baby teeth. My oldest had a checkup, and was fine with it, but the dentist recommended valium to sedate him to treat the cavities and that just didn't sit right with Dh and I, so I said, Nope. Then, we moved. We are settled now and I'm just wondering how necessary it is to treat their cavities. Would it affect their permanent teeth?

I searched the forum here and just couldn't find anything specifically related to this, so thought I'd ask. If its been dsicussed already, sorry maybe someone can link me to those threads??

TIA
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#2 of 64 Old 10-15-2006, 10:45 PM
 
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The cavities can get into their permanent teeth, which are already developing below the surface.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#3 of 64 Old 10-15-2006, 10:58 PM
 
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I dont know which teeth or how old your DSs are but if they are but think about this. If you have decay and it progresses it hurts and then abcesses the SAME thing happens to baby teeth. Then you have to deal with a child having an extraction. So the answer is yes have them fixed so your children dont have to deal with tooth pain and possible abcessed teeth.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#4 of 64 Old 10-16-2006, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your responses. Thats what I thought, that it wouldn't be any different than our permanent teeth. Neither of them have complained about pain, thank goodness. I just received a recommendation for a dentist here in our new town, that children supposedly love, so I think I'll go make an appt now....I have a feeling it will be totally hellish for my 2 yr old though (the boys are 2 and 6).

Thanks again for your help!
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#5 of 64 Old 10-16-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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I have a different response. I'm dealing with decay in my 26 mo old teeth. I'm following the advce found in the curing cavities with nutrition thread.

Teeth-baby and permanent-can remineralize preventing the decay from reaching the root. I encourage you to read Weston Price's info at this link:
http://journeytoforever.org/farm_lib...e/price16.html

I spoke to a mom whose child is now 8. The dentist recommended all kinds of extractions, etc when child was 3. The child was not in any pain, so the mom decided not to do anything. SHe said by the time his 4 front top teeth came out, they were "little brown nubs," but his permanent teeth were beautiful. Apparently the decay usually does not affect the permanent teeth, although it may. Also, teeth do not always absess.

I think you can take a wait and see approach, especially if you make changes in the child's diet and toothbrushing habits. I would also recommend using a toothpaste with a high xylitol content, see http://xylitolnow.com/fyi.html for more info. We use Spry tooth gel and Epic toothpaste.

There are a couple of Yahoo groups related to these issues:
alternativekidsteeth
and
veryyoungkidsteeth.

I'm interested in finding others who have not followed the dentist's recommendations and learning about their outcomes!
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#6 of 64 Old 10-16-2006, 05:14 PM
 
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Well, we just got back from the dentist. My 3 1/2 yr old DS had to have an extraction today...but he did have an abcess. I was taking a wait and see approach for a while. I'd noticed brown spots, and the one tooth had an obvious cavity. I do wish I'd taken him in at least for an exam sooner. I'd been doing bone broths, cod liver oil, raw milk etc. Then we noticed a bump on his gums and realized he had the infection there. There are three other molars with cavities that the dentist is recommending we get filled. I'm not sure what we are going to do yet. None of the other cavities are to the root but one is kind of bad he said. We have an appointment for 2 weeks from now and most likely we will at least get the really bad one fixed. Right now it seems like we will get them all done....I really don't want to sit there through another extraction that's for sure.

 

 
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#7 of 64 Old 11-04-2006, 11:17 AM
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Don't you just love MDC? This is exactly the question I came seeking an answer to today!

My 6 year old DS has 2 cavities in his back baby teeth. The dentist said that they are small but between the teeth so they will have to drill down from the top. DS just lost his first tooth this week so I'm guessing it will be a while before those back teeth come out. We have not been good about brushing teeth partly because he used to brush his teeth at day care but then Public Health started hassling them about the possible transfer of germs, etc. so the day care had to stop the tooth brushing. And I didn't pick up the slack (bad Mommy). SO I'm torn between waiting and seeing now that we will be brushing regularly and having them filled. DS will not take well to the drilling (nobody does) so it will put the fear into him and he'll likely be a avid tooth brusher for the rest of his life but that's not the way I'd like him to learn this lesson (and it's my fault really). And I don't really trust the dentist to give me an honest opinion because they just want to suck as much money out of the insurance companies as possible (I know there are good dentists here on MDC but I have never met one IRL). Any other stories from those who have waited and not filled cavities in baby teeth would be much appreciated. i'll check out the curing cavities with nutrition thread.

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#8 of 64 Old 11-06-2006, 12:02 AM
 
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The back baby teeth dont usually fall out until about 10-12 yrs old depending on the child. Once the decay breaks through the enamel it can/does spread much quicker.
My son at 12 has 2 more baby molars to loose yet. Both have decay that was noted a year ago but because of how close they are to falling out we elected to wait. I would probably lean towards fixing them in a 6yr old. If you end up having to have the teeth extracted then you will need to have a space maintainer placed to keep the 1 permanent molars from drifting foward and keeping the premolars from erupting.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#9 of 64 Old 11-07-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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I'm also here to ask about filling cavities in my five-year-old son's teeth. He has signs of decay on seven teeth. He physically fought every little thing at the dentist, so they said he will need GA or a type of sedation that is more than they can do at that office and will need it for everything -- cleaning, x-rays, and fillings. We were referred to ped dentist who has more sedation options and will see him later this week. My mom thinks we should just do nothing because his teeth are not hurting him but I'm worried about future problems. The first dentist admitted that the different types of sedation in the office and GA at the hospital all have risks.
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#10 of 64 Old 11-07-2006, 06:08 PM
 
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Yes, sedation has risks, but so does not treating decay. It's an infection and it will spread if you don't treat it.

There is some evidence that xylitol gum and candy can reverse early decay, so you could look for some of that. they also make xylitol toothpaste.

If that's the first time your 5-year-old has been to the dentist, then it's no wonder he fought them. He should NOT need sedation for every visit! Pediatric dentists have plenty of techniques for dealing with kids ... they should not automatically decide to sedate him without trying other things.

You could try taking him to the dentist just to "be there" and not even get examined. check out the exam rooms, etc. so he becomes more at ease there. this worked pretty well with my older daughter. then take him again very soon after for his exam. Finding a good dental assistant/hygienist can be key - there is one at our dentist's office that's awesome with my daughter and I always hope she is there when we come.

HTH. Do NOT just ignore the problem. Decay is caused by bacteria, and kids with untreated decay in baby teeth are more likely to have problems with their permanent teeth too.

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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#11 of 64 Old 11-07-2006, 08:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nancy926 View Post
Yes, sedation has risks, but so does not treating decay. It's an infection and it will spread if you don't treat it.

There is some evidence that xylitol gum and candy can reverse early decay, so you could look for some of that. they also make xylitol toothpaste.

If that's the first time your 5-year-old has been to the dentist, then it's no wonder he fought them. He should NOT need sedation for every visit! Pediatric dentists have plenty of techniques for dealing with kids ... they should not automatically decide to sedate him without trying other things.

You could try taking him to the dentist just to "be there" and not even get examined. check out the exam rooms, etc. so he becomes more at ease there. this worked pretty well with my older daughter. then take him again very soon after for his exam. Finding a good dental assistant/hygienist can be key - there is one at our dentist's office that's awesome with my daughter and I always hope she is there when we come.

HTH. Do NOT just ignore the problem. Decay is caused by bacteria, and kids with untreated decay in baby teeth are more likely to have problems with their permanent teeth too.
Thanks for your reply. My mom is really insistent that I should do nothing because I didn't even go to the dentist at his age. My parents have never had dental insurance and dental beliefs were different twenty-five years ago. Obviously, I'm going to make my own decision, but I wanted to see the opinions of AP mommas who don't just accept whatever the doctors say.
Ds went to the dentist twice before for easy visits (open up and count the teeth only) and this time they knew he had decay and I really wanted it checked out. Ds is a challenging child who is very fearful and very stubborn until he decides he can do something. I thought the hygienists and dentist did the best they could to make it fun and easy, but things that work on other kids don't work on him.
Does anyone know what sedation methods are safest and best for kids who are determined to fight everything? Are there any good websites for me to read?
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#12 of 64 Old 11-08-2006, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just for an update....

My MIL works at a dental office in a state about 8 hrs away from us. We were planning a visit this week anyway, so instead of scheduling with a dentist in our community, she suggested coming to her dentist, who is a ped dentist, and just wonderful!
My oldest (just turned 6 sunday!) was amazing! Had x-rays, hygentist cleaned his teeth, and turned out he needed 3 fillings. Went back yesterday, had them done with nitrus and novicane (sp?). I"m glad he is taken care of. The story with my 2 yr old is horrifically different: He has either trauma issues or decay on almost every tooth in his mouth. He refused to have anyone look at him willingly, so with pappa holding him lovingly, the dentist coaxed his mouth open. Ds gave him a chance to do a pretty thorough assessment. His work can't be done in a pedi office, he just can't handle it. So, the only option for him is to go to the local hospital, with the dentist and have him sedated for the surgery. He has 3 abcessess in addition to decay and reconstruction that needs to be done, so I don't think that I have much of an option at this point. I am sooooo sad about this. He is soooooooo little. I'm glad that I can at least trust the dentist though, and I do know that this is a last resort kinda thing. They rarely send children to get the work done this way, and they try everything they possibly can to work with the child in their office, with the least invasive options tried first.
I think for oldest I will try to look into the xylitol gum, but for little guy, unless someone can point me in the direction of some very strong research, I think that I'm gonna have to submit and have my baby put under to get this work done.


Big s to anyone else going through this.
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#13 of 64 Old 11-08-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sarahariz View Post
I think you can take a wait and see approach, especially if you make changes in the child's diet and toothbrushing habits.
I'm quoting myself, because we've decided to do something about dd's teeth. They are just getting too bad. I should have been doing the xylitol and bone broths before her teeth even came in!

We took her to 2 dentists. #1 said he'd have to extract 2, if not 4, of the top front teeth. #2 said they'd likely require pulpotomies but she could cap them. Also, likely 4 molars need caps. We really like dentist #2. She even knew about ART (atraumatic restorative treatment)http://www.dhin.nl/art_manual_introduction.htm but said dd's teeth were too far gone. We are opting for GA in the dentist's office with an anesthesiologist present. The appt. is scheduled for Dec 4.

I realize now I have taken AP too far. I didn't brush her teeth or even wipe them when she was younger, because it made her cry. I didn't take her to the dentist sooner because I didn't want to traumatize her. I've bf her on demand all night long because she wanted it and I had no idea it was affecting her teeth. After all, even Mothering Mag had that article about how bf benefits a baby's teeth (can't remember if decay was addressed, but dentition and bite was). I know many parents co-sleep and bf on demand with no problems, but in our case, since apparently she has weak enamel, lots of strep mutans, or whatever, it has exacerbated the problem. It sounds like I am angry but mainly I am blaming myself. I let my distrust of the "system" (the health system) keep me from taking dd to a dentist when she really needed to go to one. A year ago I could see there were problems! I guess I just wish I had had more information then! I wish I knew what COULD happen. Now I'm really going to be traumatized, and she will too!

I just hope that any mom who suspects there may be problems takes their dc to the dentist ASAP. The few minutes of crying that may occur when the dentist looks at dc's teeth are far easier to bear than the trauma of having to put your child "under", go without nursing/food/drink for 9 hours beforehand, and knowing that you could have done differently than you did.
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#14 of 64 Old 11-08-2006, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm quoting myself, because we've decided to do something about dd's teeth. They are just getting too bad. I should have been doing the xylitol and bone broths before her teeth even came in!

We took her to 2 dentists. #1 said he'd have to extract 2, if not 4, of the top front teeth. #2 said they'd likely require pulpotomies but she could cap them. Also, likely 4 molars need caps. We really like dentist #2. She even knew about ART (atraumatic restorative treatment)http://www.dhin.nl/art_manual_introduction.htm but said dd's teeth were too far gone. We are opting for GA in the dentist's office with an anesthesiologist present. The appt. is scheduled for Dec 4.

I realize now I have taken AP too far. I didn't brush her teeth or even wipe them when she was younger, because it made her cry. I didn't take her to the dentist sooner because I didn't want to traumatize her. I've bf her on demand all night long because she wanted it and I had no idea it was affecting her teeth. After all, even Mothering Mag had that article about how bf benefits a baby's teeth (can't remember if decay was addressed, but dentition and bite was). I know many parents co-sleep and bf on demand with no problems, but in our case, since apparently she has weak enamel, lots of strep mutans, or whatever, it has exacerbated the problem. It sounds like I am angry but mainly I am blaming myself. I let my distrust of the "system" (the health system) keep me from taking dd to a dentist when she really needed to go to one. A year ago I could see there were problems! I guess I just wish I had had more information then! I wish I knew what COULD happen. Now I'm really going to be traumatized, and she will too!

I just hope that any mom who suspects there may be problems takes their dc to the dentist ASAP. The few minutes of crying that may occur when the dentist looks at dc's teeth are far easier to bear than the trauma of having to put your child "under", go without nursing/food/drink for 9 hours beforehand, and knowing that you could have done differently than you did.
s mamma

I just wanted to say though, that everyone I talked with about all this (I sort of feel this is a failing on my part also) said it is not customary to see children in the dentist's office until 3 yo. They say it is difficult to work on children our dc's age (mine was born 4-30-04) and that even though we "saw" the problems, kids this young will often only come in if they are in pain. So, don't beat yourself up too much (hard isn't it ) that you didn't take her sooner.

I wish my MIL's boss would do GA in his office, but, nope, and we just found out today that they can't do the work at all cause the local hospital here where the dentist has privileges, won't schedule us cause we don't have insurance. There goes the trust factor that I was feeling positive about. We are going to try to find someone in Boston, which is the closest major city to our home town. I'm hoping I can find someone good, that I can trust with my baby. The whole anesthesia thing really has me very scared and nervous, but it is the ONLY way my son is going to let anyone near his mouth.:
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#15 of 64 Old 11-08-2006, 07:38 PM
 
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I'm a little surprised by the number of you that consider such restorative treatment to be necessary. My 19 month old DS has significant decay in 3 upper teeth and we have been to a number of dentists. Two were specialists - one a professor of pediatric dentristy and the other a regular pediatric dentist. The first wouldn't even consider treating such a young child. The second suggested it (i.e. he would) but when I asked if it was necessary (for protection/future damage) he said not. He was happy to just have my son kept under surveillance by the hygenist.

Maybe it's his age, or the amount of decay - although one incisor is almost gone at this point? Should I be worried???
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#16 of 64 Old 11-08-2006, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can only speak for our situation, but for my son, it is because he has the 3 abcesses that they are concerned. What I'm being told is that the bacteria will eventually attack the enamel (sp?) on his permanent teeth if it is untreated. Also, I know from several people that subscribe to different philosophies of alternative health, that the health of the teeth, gums and mouth in general is very important to the health of the whole body.....and also, if any system of the body is "out of whack" that it will effect the quality of the functioning of the rest of the systems. So, with that, I am choosing to get my 2 yo's dental issues taken care of. I think that if you trust your dental health provider, and have researched your dc's specific situation , then you should definately feel confident in your decision to wait, and have the hygentist monitor his condition.
FWIW my son's trauma occured at 8 mo old and we aren't seeing the majorly negative effects of it until now (he is 2 1/2). The decay, I'm sure has been there for a while, but the abcesses (from the trauma) are what are making Dh and I say, OK, lets get this taken care of. And, since they are going to have to sedate him regardless, we will just get everything taken care of so he doesn't have to go through it all again.
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#17 of 64 Old 11-09-2006, 08:05 AM
 
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I'm a little surprised by the number of you that consider such restorative treatment to be necessary. My 19 month old DS has significant decay in 3 upper teeth and we have been to a number of dentists. Two were specialists - one a professor of pediatric dentristy and the other a regular pediatric dentist. The first wouldn't even consider treating such a young child. The second suggested it (i.e. he would) but when I asked if it was necessary (for protection/future damage) he said not. He was happy to just have my son kept under surveillance by the hygenist.

Maybe it's his age, or the amount of decay - although one incisor is almost gone at this point? Should I be worried???
Interesting that you are in the Netherlands. I wonder if that has anything to do with the approach being taken. Seems like the US medical and dental establishments are more aggressive in "treating."

I can't find anyone who is willing to take x-rays of dc's teeth until she is put under. I thought if I could see the x-rays, I could tell how close the decay was to the nerve and if the tooth was remineralizing at all. Has anyone else been able to get x-rays done before the "procedure?"

Have you asked the dentists you've been to at what point would they recommend treatment and what would the treatment be? I'm interested to hear what they say. Would they treat that kind of decay in an older child? Or is the decay not severe enough to be treated no matter the age, in their opinion?

Earth Angel, thanks for the hugs and support.
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#18 of 64 Old 11-09-2006, 08:13 AM
 
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Nursing actually helps prevent caries not cause them. There is a excellent article here about that. http://www.hpakids.org/holistic-heal...ities/print/20

Both my kids need dental work done but I am taking the wait and see approch I am just not comfy with a 1-10,000 chance of something going wrong under GA. My ds will have to have the top 4 pulled because they are to far gone to cap but as of now he is not in pain. My dd has 8 molars that need feeling but again no pain unless she bites wrong.

 
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#19 of 64 Old 11-09-2006, 08:57 AM
 
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My daughter had 3 cavities filled and 4 caps put on just before she turned 5. She was having pain when eating. My ped dentist gave us an oral sedative that we gave her at home an hour before our appt. We took her in barely awake and she left the same way. She doesn't even remember being there. We did have a rough afternoon that day since she had so much work done at once but overall it was a fearful or tramatic experience for her.

All of her cavities started between her teeth and since the teeth touch spread from tooth to tooth without us even being able to see a spot. I was shocked when I found out. She's never taken milk to bed and she's always been a great brusher. Sometimes these things just happen.

IMO if you are able to get the cavities treated then you should do so before the problem gets worse.
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#20 of 64 Old 11-09-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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As an update..we just saw a specialist who mainly treats toddlers and special needs children. Ds cooperated completely with the x-rays and examination and this dentist sees no problem just giving him a little nitrous oxide before treating his cavities, some of which are severe. He said he does not sedate very often; only when absolutely necessary. He was critical of dentists who sedate automatically and dentists who are afraid to treat young children and therefore minimize the need for treatment or use GA. It's going to cost more than a regular dentist, but I feel comfortable and ds does too, which is most important. It was nice for him not to be considered a "problem kid" but actually one of their easier patients.
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#21 of 64 Old 11-09-2006, 07:21 PM
 
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#22 of 64 Old 11-10-2006, 01:12 AM
 
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I thought I had made up my mind about what I wanted to do with my 1.5 yo son's teeth, but I am so torn.

Apparently his enamel never formed well in utero, so now he is more suseptable to decay. I've seen 3 pediadontist so far. #1 didn't tell me squat and wanted to cap all his teeth (the top ones). #2 said that he has enamel problems and needs GA which he doesn't do. #3 said she couldn't tell what caused it, but the cavities seem very hard but wanted to do a flouride treatment (covering the teeth with a very high flouride mix). I was not okay with that so I left with the advice to have my son sedated in their office with an anest. present.

I was guessing that is what I need to do as I don't seem to have an option...but we always have choices right?

I also have not been able to get ANYONE to give my DS an xray, they won't do it until he's under. He is not at all cooperative and even though I do like the pediadontist I most recently saw, I'm still not completely happy. I have a consulatation with the anesthesialogist in a few weeks so I guess I'll see how that goes.

What gets to me is no one can really tell me how bad things are or how much of an ergency it is to fix them right away.

My sister works at a regular dentists office and offered to do an xray, I am now considering that.

The added alkalizing minearls me and ds have been taking I belive to be helping. I need to get some xylitol though.

Kim

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#23 of 64 Old 11-16-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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It's no longer true that dentists will not see kids until the age of 3. Dentists now recommend the first dental visit come BEFORE a child turns 1 year old, even if they have no teeth. They should see a pediatric dentist, NOT a regular dentist.

And those dentists who are choosing to do nothing about a child's tooth decay....when were they trained? Nowadays to do absolutely nothing is almost unheard of. Studies show that decay in baby teeth can affect the permanent teeth. losing baby teeth too soon can affect speech and eating habits and can also make it more difficult for the permanent teeth to come in properly.

I agree there's often not a pressing need for extractions or even fillings, but to just sit and watch baby teeth progressively erode from decay seems unconscionable to me.

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#24 of 64 Old 11-16-2006, 05:43 PM
 
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Nursing actually helps prevent caries not cause them. There is a excellent article here about that. http://www.hpakids.org/holistic-heal...ities/print/20
.
I had to comment on this because I wrote her second reference! LOL. I used to freelance for NIDCR and helped write that piece (well before I had any kids).

BFing and decay is a controversial topic. It's hard to study because so few kids nurse long enough to have enough teeth to study.

My DD had decay on her 1-yr molars by the time she was 17 months old (and still nursing day and night). I firmly believe the night nursing contributed to the decay (coupled with food particles from solids). Exclusive breastfeeding may prevent decay, but once you introduce other types of sugars, IMHO all bets are off.

It's also a genetic crapshoot. My younger daughter is 15 mos and I have an eagle eye on her 1-yr molars. So far they look fine, so it's possible her teeth are just better, or her molars don't have the deep grooves in them that can trap food and bacteria.

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#25 of 64 Old 11-16-2006, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's no longer true that dentists will not see kids until the age of 3. Dentists now recommend the first dental visit come BEFORE a child turns 1 year old, even if they have no teeth. They should see a pediatric dentist, NOT a regular dentist.

And those dentists who are choosing to do nothing about a child's tooth decay....when were they trained? Nowadays to do absolutely nothing is almost unheard of. Studies show that decay in baby teeth can affect the permanent teeth. losing baby teeth too soon can affect speech and eating habits and can also make it more difficult for the permanent teeth to come in properly.

I agree there's often not a pressing need for extractions or even fillings, but to just sit and watch baby teeth progressively erode from decay seems unconscionable to me.
Nancy926, it sounds like you have a lot of great information! Thank you for sharing that, I had no idea that dentists saw such young children (babies I should say ).

I did want to say though (I guess in an effort to defend myself, as I am a parent that watched as her son's teeth kept looking worse and worse) that I don't feel that my choice was "unconscionable". There were (and are) a LOT of factors surrounding this for us. Ignorance (on our part), a really bad dentist who shared bad advice with us, and no access to a pediatric dentist (until now that we have moved). Also, and I think that this led mostly to Dh and I avoiding the issue, was the thought of such a small child being asked to go through a dental exam. Even now at 2 1/2 it was so traumatic for my son that I doubt that he will willingly enter a dental office for quite a while. While I do understand that I may have made a mistake in waiting as long as I did, I also don't think that I slighted my son in any way, nor did I not have his best interests in mind.

I definately appreciate your opinion, and am hopeful you won't take offense to my response here

And on another note:
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It's also a genetic crapshoot. My younger daughter is 15 mos and I have an eagle eye on her 1-yr molars. So far they look fine, so it's possible her teeth are just better, or her molars don't have the deep grooves in them that can trap food and bacteria.
This is so interesting isn't it. My oldest nursed the same way and for as long as my youngest. They are saying my youngest's decay is likely due to night nursing....yet my oldest's teeth look pretty good. I know each child is unique, why shouldn't their teeth be too, but it still amazes me how different each one is (in all sorts of ways), though they came from the same 2 parents!!
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#26 of 64 Old 11-17-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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I had to comment on this because I wrote her second reference! LOL. I used to freelance for NIDCR and helped write that piece (well before I had any kids).

BFing and decay is a controversial topic. It's hard to study because so few kids nurse long enough to have enough teeth to study.

My DD had decay on her 1-yr molars by the time she was 17 months old (and still nursing day and night). I firmly believe the night nursing contributed to the decay (coupled with food particles from solids). Exclusive breastfeeding may prevent decay, but once you introduce other types of sugars, IMHO all bets are off.

It's also a genetic crapshoot. My younger daughter is 15 mos and I have an eagle eye on her 1-yr molars. So far they look fine, so it's possible her teeth are just better, or her molars don't have the deep grooves in them that can trap food and bacteria.
Our ped dentist hinted that five-year-old ds's 23 mths of breastfeeding (without me wiping the milk off teeth and gums after) contributed to his six cavities. However, two-year-old dd, who breastfed for 27 mths and much more often at night than ds, just went in for her first check-up and the ped dentist said her teeth are great, no concerns at all. I really didn't do anything different with her. The only difference is that ds used to hold food in his mouth for hours. I just don't think the breastfeeding had anything to do with his decay.
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#27 of 64 Old 11-17-2006, 11:14 PM
 
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My two oldest had cavities at 4 years old. They both got them filled. : They have since gotten coverings over permanent teeth to protect them from getting cavities in them. When it comes to their teeth I don't want them to have aches and pains. I know the cavities had to hurt back then, baby teeth or not, and so we got them filled. I didn't think twice about it. I was also told that it could possibly mess up the permanent teeth, although not definitely.

My youngest who is 4 now had a cavity earlier this year and I was told that it was because she still drank from a sippy cup before bed and that she shouldn't be given milk that way anymore. I don't feel that's what it was. I think it was just the fact that we weren't brushing her teeth good enough since the cavity was in a tooth further back in her mouth. I think dentists sometimes just say something and don't really know what they think they know. They use bottlefeeding, breastfeeding and sippy cups as an excuse when they can't possibly know what caused it. They just go by what the parents tell them they do at home.

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#28 of 64 Old 11-19-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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It's amazing how many of us in similar situations get such completely different advice. With my DS we have gone to 6 dentists so far (in 2 different countries - Netherlands and Ireland), 2 of whom were ped specialists. There was large variation in opinions as to the cause of the issue, but the only thing that all of them agreed on was that there is no need to 'fix' the teeth at the moment. DS's teeth condition seems to now be stabilizing but we will keep a close eye on it with our new ped hygenist - he is not in pain, the worst affected tooth still has a decent sized stub before the gum and there is no sign of abcesses.

One of the specialists is a professor in a leading ped research dental hospital. He was the one that put it down to in utero enamel development issues. In fact he said that there was no plaque or bacteria on my DS's teeth at all. Therefore a flouride seal (which I requested) or adding flouride to his diet or toothpaste would not help - he said that too much flouride would make the condition worse! This is why he also says that capping/filling the teeth now would be purely cosmetic.

Here many of you have different opinions and experiences on this subject, but I am still not convinced that work is required now to protect his adult teeth. I don't want to subject the little man to any kind of treatment unless it is absolutely necessary. Would anyone have recommendations for further reading on this matter - preferably nonbiased research-based information? I really want to feel that I have made a totally informed decision on this and not just based on a small number of opinions - dentists or mothers (even if they are of the mega knowledgeable MDC variety ).
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#29 of 64 Old 11-20-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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Would anyone have recommendations for further reading on this matter - preferably nonbiased research-based information? I really want to feel that I have made a totally informed decision on this and not just based on a small number of opinions - dentists or mothers (even if they are of the mega knowledgeable MDC variety ).
I would think that the most important reason for having a cavity filled would be for the "pain" factor (I've had them, they hurt off and on but they hurt). A child feels pain in the tooth just as an adult would. I've had cavities before and I've been told that cavities do in fact lead to worse things for the teeth if not taken care of in a timely manner. Why chance it if there's a chance it could affect their perm teeth? But most of all why make them have pain in their tooth when something can be done about it?

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#30 of 64 Old 11-20-2006, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would think that the most important reason for having a cavity filled would be for the "pain" factor (I've had them, they hurt off and on but they hurt). A child feels pain in the tooth just as an adult would. I've had cavities before and I've been told that cavities do in fact lead to worse things for the teeth if not taken care of in a timely manner. Why chance it if there's a chance it could affect their perm teeth? But most of all why make them have pain in their tooth when something can be done about it?
Thats the thing though, my little guy doesn't feel any pain. He doesn't say he does without me asking, and when I do ask, he says "Nope". So, while I'm waiting for his appt with a pediadontist (she isn't there till March and I have yet to find anyone else in our state), I'd also love to read up on this more and see really what are the benefits and drawbacks of getting the work doen vs waiting. I understand about the effects that the decay may (or may not) have on the permanent teeth. But I'm just so curious, especially after reading elenorm's reply what the "science" is behind the different recommendations we are getting.
Also, no x-rays were done on my son, so I'm also wondering now how can they tell he has 3 abcesses without x-rays?? Anyone know if they would be visible from the outside (he has no abnormal looking areas on his gums, but I'm also no expert ). I'm just getting more and more curious, as I evaluate all that you all are saying, and get a bit farther away from my MIL's dental office (not to say the DDS isn't good there, just saying there was no room for argument at ALL!!)
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