Should we fill baby teeth cavities? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 02-22-2007, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our 4 year old has two cavities in her front teeth. Our dentist wants to fill the cavities. I was hoping to wait until they fell out on their own. She does not experience any pain from them now, but my husband is concerned if we wait it may lead to bigger dental problems that would need more intrusive dental work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 of 24 Old 02-22-2007, 12:40 PM
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My ds (4) has had many cavities, despite brushing after he eats EVERY time, brushing for 2+ minutes, using special recalcifying toothpaste. We have had them all filled. First, to avoid bigger problems down the road and secondly, because of the cosmetic reasons associated with front teeth. My parents basically let my teeth rot as a toddler and I have cosmetic and dentist issues to this day because of it. They were so rotten they had to be pulled. Why was I the only one in kindergarten without front teeth? Why didn't my teeth loosen and fall out naturally? Why did I have brown, pointy vampire teeth before they were pulled? Why did my parent blame me for liking candy (umm, I was the child, it was my parents' job to monitor/control my consumption of sweets for MY health,) instead of acknowledging that they had FAILED me as parents?
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#3 of 24 Old 02-22-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by akkb View Post
Our 4 year old has two cavities in her front teeth. Our dentist wants to fill the cavities. I was hoping to wait until they fell out on their own. She does not experience any pain from them now, but my husband is concerned if we wait it may lead to bigger dental problems that would need more intrusive dental work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

It's honestly up to what you want to do.

My daughter's front teeth fell out on their own at 5 and she has a big beautiful permanent tooth coming down now. Lots of kindergardners are missing all kinds of front teeth.


You could try remineralizing to halt the decay until they fall out on their own, preventing any further complications from those teeth....or you could fill...
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#4 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 08:34 AM
 
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My DS has cavities on the front four top teeth and one molar. We are having them filled because he is not even three yet. The dentists that we went to are not as concerned about the front teeth due to the fact that they have more enamel than the back teeth so they can withstand decay better. My understanding is that the permanent teeth absorb the root of the baby teeth and that when there is an infection like a cavity they can absorb it and damage them. Dentists deal with the baby to protect the adult. That is just my understanding from several different dentists who were not recommended by each other.

Mama to two loqacious and bouncy boys.
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#5 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 09:23 AM
 
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My DS has cavities on the front four top teeth and one molar. We are having them filled because he is not even three yet. The dentists that we went to are not as concerned about the front teeth due to the fact that they have more enamel than the back teeth so they can withstand decay better. My understanding is that the permanent teeth absorb the root of the baby teeth and that when there is an infection like a cavity they can absorb it and damage them. Dentists deal with the baby to protect the adult. That is just my understanding from several different dentists who were not recommended by each other.

My DD is also going to have 3 molars filled. Actually, she has "kissing tonsils", sleep apnea, the whole nine yards, and will need surgery to deal with that. We are coordinating it so that the dentist can be there and do the fillings while she's under anesthesia. He will also take a full xray series and apply sealant to the rear teeth to protect them from further decay.

I'm kinda bummed that my kid has dental issues already, but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax.
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#6 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamatowill View Post
My DS has cavities on the front four top teeth and one molar. We are having them filled because he is not even three yet. The dentists that we went to are not as concerned about the front teeth due to the fact that they have more enamel than the back teeth so they can withstand decay better. My understanding is that the permanent teeth absorb the root of the baby teeth and that when there is an infection like a cavity they can absorb it and damage them. Dentists deal with the baby to protect the adult. That is just my understanding from several different dentists who were not recommended by each other.
From what I've learned, it is VERY rare for a baby tooth to infect a permanent tooth...that it would have to absess and infect the whole root all the way to the permanent tooth, and odds are the child would be in serious pain and/or you'd find a bump and take care of the tooth before any permanent damage occured.
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#7 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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Is it the mercury in the fillings that you're concerned about? If so, ask your dentist if he can fill the tooth with the white, I think it's porcelain, instead. My dentist said they do that, but it doesn't stay as well as the amalgram fillings. I figure it has to be better than putting a toxic substance into the mouth of my child. The mercury constantly emits toxic vapors that effect the brain.
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#8 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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and apply sealant to the rear teeth to protect them from further decay.
Sealant has been linked to disrupting hormones. I have to wonder sometimes if that why I have problems with my hormone levels. :

I had my teeth sealed when I was a kid. The teeth must have not been cleaned well enough prior to sealing and now those teeth have cavities, 2 have broken and one has been pulled. Am waiting till sometime after birth to have the other broken one pulled
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#9 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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My big kids had them done with composite fillings. Rotton teeth realy freak me out.

Mama to 3 kiddles. joy.giffencing.gif Doing my best and trying to stay afloat.vbac.gif

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#10 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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If so, ask your dentist if he can fill the tooth with the white, I think it's porcelain, instead. My dentist said they do that, but it doesn't stay as well as the amalgram fillings.
If your dentist said that, he isn't as well trained with composite (white fillings) as other dentists are. There is no reason a composite filling can't last as long as a mercury filling, but it has to do with the skill of the dentist.

I'd be looking for a dentist who ONLY does composite fillings, which is a big sign that they are 1. aware of the dangers of amalgam and 2. skilled enough to use the composite 100% of the time.

I personally wouldn't use a dentist who made that statement. JMO.
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#11 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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Our 4 year old has two cavities in her front teeth. Our dentist wants to fill the cavities. I was hoping to wait until they fell out on their own. She does not experience any pain from them now, but my husband is concerned if we wait it may lead to bigger dental problems that would need more intrusive dental work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My oldest didnt loose his front teeth until he was 7 1/2. If you leave the decay progress it can cause an abcess. I wont affect her adult teeth but abcesses hurt ( and puss drains from them) Let alone she will have dark/gray decayed teeth right in the front. Yes I would get them fixed. I was a hygienist for 16yrs ( happily a SAHM now) and I know I would not let my own children KNOWINGLY go to the point of pain with decay if I knew I could prevent the pain.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#12 of 24 Old 02-24-2007, 05:29 PM
 
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Sealant has been linked to disrupting hormones. I have to wonder sometimes if that why I have problems with my hormone levels. :
Anyone w/more info on this? Our dentist recommended it for ds' next (6 year) appt.
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#13 of 24 Old 02-25-2007, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the replies, our daughter is scheduled for a cleaning next month and I feel we have a better understanding on what questions to ask ect. I also ordered the book Healthy Teeth for Kids, has anybody else read this book?
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#14 of 24 Old 02-25-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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Anyone w/more info on this? Our dentist recommended it for ds' next (6 year) appt.
http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_...22_97/fob1.htm


One book I want to read is Uninformed Consent : The Hidden Dangers in Dental Care



From what I just read on a google search not all sealants have endocrine disruptors.
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#15 of 24 Old 04-17-2007, 12:40 PM
 
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http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_...22_97/fob1.htm


One book I want to read is Uninformed Consent : The Hidden Dangers in Dental Care



From what I just read on a google search not all sealants have endocrine disruptors.

HUH. I wonder when sealants started being widely used? Also wonder if this has anything to do with girls going into puberty earlier - in conjunction with childhood obesity and the hormones in the milk?
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#16 of 24 Old 04-17-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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I had a noticeable cavity in the front of one of my top teeth when I was 4. The dentist tried to fix it, but after a few minutes of starting the work, they decided I was in too much pain for it to be worth it to continue. They just kept an eye on it to make sure it didn't progress, and it fell out about 18 mos later. I think it would have been nice to have it fixed...I do have some memories of being told to "go brush my teeth" (by adults!!). But I wouldn't say it left me emotionally scarred to have a spot on my tooth for a year. I led a normal childhood, and my permanent teeth are pretty normal (occasional cavity in the back).

Overall I think you've got to weigh the risks and benefits of fixing a baby tooth. If they think they can do it without much pain, I'd do it.
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#17 of 24 Old 04-17-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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do they have to put a toddler under general to fill cavities? my dd hasn't seen a dentist yet, there is no way she would sit still and let some stranger poke around in her mouth at all, much less long enough to fill a cavity if she had any...

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#18 of 24 Old 04-17-2007, 04:23 PM
 
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I think it depends on how old of a toddler we're talking about. My son had two cavities filled at age 3, with only "laughing gas" and novacaine. He did great. With a younger child, or for multiple fillings I think they may have to use general anesthesia.
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#19 of 24 Old 04-17-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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My son is 3 1/2 and loves his dentist, she recommended that all children be taken BEFORE there is a problem so that they don't learn to be fearful. They only push him as far as he will allow them to go and then stop because there isn't a problem.
I would definately get baby teeth filled, I have friends who had teeth literally rot in their kids mouths and the pain is just insane for the poor dears.
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#20 of 24 Old 04-22-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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my son had three cavities at 1-1/2 in his front two teeth and we decided to have them filled. i wasn't sure we were making the right decision (safety of anesthetic and need) but since then he hasn't had any issues and i don't regret it.

i substitute teach and there was a girl in a third grade class with her teeth rotting out. her breath was very stinky and she was literally losing chunks of her teeth in class. i felt so sorry for her because it's not her fault! but she has to deal with the teasing and meanness from the other kids.

anyhoo, i'd go for it, but make absolutely sure you feel VERY comfortable with the dentist.

eh. who needs a signature?
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#21 of 24 Old 04-22-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by akkb View Post
Our 4 year old has two cavities in her front teeth. Our dentist wants to fill the cavities. I was hoping to wait until they fell out on their own. She does not experience any pain from them now, but my husband is concerned if we wait it may lead to bigger dental problems that would need more intrusive dental work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi,

If I was in your shoes, I would not do it.
See my other postings.
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=529174

At best, get a second opinion. Every dentist has a different idea of what to do.

If you wait, it may lead to bigger dental problems, and it may not, it depends on your diet. The decay happens when your child goes through periods of rapid growth spurts.

good luck,
Rami
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#22 of 24 Old 11-06-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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Hi, I agree with Cassandra. My mom and I just took my son to a new pediatric dentist yesterday. We have been treating Trenton's (2 Yrs old) teeth for 3 months now since his former pediatric dentist wanted to pull his 4 upper front teeth and fill or crown all the rest of his upper teeth.

We've been giving him Calc phos 6X every day, plus other stuff now for the 3 months; also cleaning his teeth with the Spry Xylitol gel and feeding him lots of Xylitol (at least 6 grams) gum and candies every day. And the new dentist said we have evidently halted the decay in Trenton's teeth, because all the little cavities the other dentist had discovered via x-rays and visible sightings were gone. But we needed to be diligent about continuing our treatment and routine.

But the number #1 question I was concerned about was, will the decay damage Trenton's permanent teeth? And he told me, because the permanent were nowhere near to coming down there was NO possiblity the decay would do any damage at all to them!

And because he does not believe in sedating children under 3, basically he will not see Trenton [unless we want to bring him in to get use to being at the dentist - at no charge as often as we want to stop by) for 9 months.

Plus a complete visit/checkup cost only $49.00. AWESOME!!

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#23 of 24 Old 11-06-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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My almost 3 yo has decay in several back teeth. Our dentist was insistent on filling them, using a general. I sought a second opinion.

The second dentist, who used to be an anesthesistist, point blank refused to put a young child under for this sort of work. Said there is no way he'd take that risk on his own child, so wouldnt do it on others. We're working on diet, including raw milk, and the new dentist is just monitoring. He was of the opinion that these are just baby teeth, and unless the child complains of pain, they should be left alone. I know several people who have used him and have got to the stage of naturally losing the baby teeth without treatment, with no ill-effects.

Tough call, but I'd do a lot of research and seek other opinions before following the advice of just one dentist.
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#24 of 24 Old 11-09-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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I'm suddenly looking at this for my 2 1/2 year old son. He has a small cavity on his first (closest to front) molar. The dentist said we have a month or two to decide what we want to do, but that it won't take long to get bad. I know that from experience, as well. My daughter (who had all kinds of cavities- very weak enamel) got a cavity on the same tooth at around 3 1/2 years. In just a few months the tooth was half gone. Literally. Instead of just having a filling she had to go in for a major procedure called a pulpectomy. Sort of a root canal for a kid- kill what's left of the tooth and crown it. It was very traumatic for her.
So, I'm definitely concerned about my son's tooth.
That said, my daughter also had a cavity right between her top front teeth... started on one and eventually spread to the other. That one took about 4 years to get bad. We eventually had them fixed, for cosmetic reasons, but she lost the teeth soon after anyway.
I don't know WHY, but I remember reading somewhere that cavities in molars are the only ones to be very concerned about... somehow the cavities grow faster there than on front teeth. And if a molar rots out or needs to be pulled, the child will need a spacer to make sure the other teeth don't drift. A sharp incisor or canine can make it's own space when the adult tooth comes in. Molars aren't very good at that, though.

Now I'm trying to decide whether to use a sedating liquid and laughing gas (but I won't be allowed in the room because I'm pregnant) or nothing at all and hope my son deals with the quick numbing shot ok.

SAHM of Kayla (11/98) Hunter (8/03) Jo (1/04) : Jared (2/05) Camelia (12/07) Hope/Chance (11/08) and Jack (12/09)
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