Alternative to fluoride - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 8 Old 08-10-2003, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted here many months ago when I first saw some spots on my dd's teeth. Well, the spots had grown rapidly to become holes in the enamel exposing the next layer in her teeth. I believe they are from developmental problems in the enamel and for the most part they have stopped growing - at at least have slowed down very much. My dd is now 15 1/2 months. Since she is still so young, I am trying to avoid or at least put off any work on her teeth b/c I believe it would be terribly traumatic to her. My question is this: is there something less toxic than fluoride that I can give her or apply to her teeth to help strengthen them? I really feel this is important in her circumstances and up until now I have made the (educated) decision to apply small amounts of fluoride to help keep them strong and hopefully stop any further erosion that may lead to nerve damage. However, I don't like fluoride and I don't like the idea that she is probably swallowing even small amounts of it b/c of her age. What are my other options? And is there any way to help heal the enamel? I took her to a "natural" dentist here but he was no help at all.

Thanks!

Bons
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#2 of 8 Old 08-12-2003, 10:40 PM
 
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Have you read thru this thread http://216.92.20.151/discussions/sho...=dental+caries

Also another thread that might be helpful is "Remineralization and diet for healthy teeth".

When the decay has gone thru the enamel, I don't think flouride can then stop it however, it can slow the decay. Initially, when the teeth are beginning to decalcify (white spots), that is when the flouride can turn the decay around.

I understand your concern with the trauma that she might experience as a result of treatment being so young. However, if the decay is left untreated, it can get worse and affect the root area. Then there will be bigger issues to deal with.
I know first hand, as we waited to have dd's work done until she was 27 months. 4 caps and 2 fillings. Now she has two missing front teeth because 2 of those capped teeth absessed. If we had dealt with it early on, this would probably not have happened.
I did not have all of the info and knowledge of Smilemomma and this board at the time tho....
If you do choose to take the wait and see approach, there are other things you can do as well. Tea Tree oil rinses, LOTS of brushing, as you know, flouride, homeopathics, diet. It's all in the archives so if there is something in particular that you would like to know about and need help finding it, let me know.
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#3 of 8 Old 08-13-2003, 08:27 PM
 
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Isa,



I could not have said it better myself!

(I am looking for a dental assistant; wanna move to FL? )
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#4 of 8 Old 08-13-2003, 08:38 PM
 
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Smilemomma, Everytime that I see that you have applied to a thread, I rush to see your posts!!! As you are the supreme dental goddess around here!

(I need a job!!! Wanna move to Hawaii? )

And in all seriousness zebrabelly, there's the dentist's perspective too.
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#5 of 8 Old 08-13-2003, 09:56 PM
 
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Zebrabelly, I was looking for something else and ran across this thread:
http://216.92.20.151/discussions/sho...ighlight=xrays
SquirelNutkin's post on 5-1-2002 in particular might be of interest to you...
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#6 of 8 Old 08-14-2003, 01:44 AM
 
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Regarding fluoride alternatives: one thing I am trying and researching is xylitol. I haven't read a lot about it on this board but I also don't have time to read a lot of the posts. If you do a search at google.com using xylitol and dental you'll come up with a lot of companies selling products and some articles. Most claims do appear to be backed up with studies. From what I remember it can help remineralize, it does not feed bacteria like sugar does and helps stimulate saliva and helps keep the bacteria from sticking.

I am using a xylitol toothpaste for kids and also sprinkling a little xylitol crystals on the toothpaste. From all my research the only potential side effect is diarrhea if it was consumed in large quantities (not a concern here). I've only been doing this a month or two.

Maybe others can weigh in with what they think of xylitol.

Good luck!
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#7 of 8 Old 08-14-2003, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hrm, xylitol might be an option.... I'd definitely like to hear more about it.

As for the work.... I realize I may be risking more dental work on her. But I have weighed my options carefully and I feel that work done now would be too traumatic - either we'd have to medicate her, or we'd have to just hold her down. The decay has slowed by at least 100 times and, frankly, I am not worried about her losing those teeth - they'll fall out anyway. The *only* thing I am worried about at this point is protecting them so that she won't get any pain. Maybe that makes me seem like a bad mom, I don't know. I hope not. I just feel that, even if there is more work to be done, it will be better for her if she is older and more able to understand what is going on. That's why I am looking for ways to strengthen what she's got left.

Thanks,
bons
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#8 of 8 Old 08-18-2003, 07:40 PM
 
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Well, MY dd just had her first dental visit today (she will be 4 next mth). I knew she had some decay (a bit between the two front teeth and quite a few small brown spots on molars). Turns out she has 11 altogether. Lovely, lol!

Her brother, btw, was cavity free this time (last visit over a year and a half ago, he had 6 tiny carries filled; took me 2 mths to pay it off, all out of pocket for merc free, lol!), before that, one itty bitty carrie at 7 yrs old (his first ever visit).
Oh, and of course, he is going to need braces (tell me something I didn't know

Odd to me that BOTH were very extended nursers, (dd still does, 1-2 times a day/night, but is very close to stopping altogether)night-nursers, co-sleepers, drank unfluoridated water, and used unfluoridated paste, but here SHE is with almost a dozen cavities years before her brother every got ONE! Go figure. Our diet WAS much better than it is now when her brother was her age (I don’t think he had refined sugar before age 4 or 5) but for his first few years, it wasn’t all that hot otherwise. She hardly has refined sugar; once a week, tops.
Oh, and we've lived in Houston since she was 6 mths old, as opposed to Portland. Other differences? Not that I know of. She DID have iv antibiotics last year, but I am not aware that they were at a time/of a kind which can damage teeth.

I endured the fluroide "lecture" (though he was respectful of my choice and limited it to asking my reasons(I had written, "no fluoride treatment, please" on their forms; never actually said I didn't use it at all; even if I did, I would be cautious of such concentrated levels, JMO) and commenting that he "hardly ever saw kids with cavities anymore, unless they came from somewhere with no fluoride in the water."

Could have said, well, I grew up with it in the water and paste and my teeth were rotten as a kid, only stopped rotting when I stopped using/drinking it as an adult, but didn't, lol! Also could have mentioned that I have seen MANY children with FAR worse teeth than hers at earlier ages who DID use fluoride.

Anyway, "guilt trips" aside, she did very well with the cleaning and exam, and we will have to go back more than once to get it all done.

I really wanted him to do the worst first (the front teeth) and then the small ones in the back teeth, but he wants to do the back ones first, then do the fronts. (IF she will let him, he says; if not, he suggests he refers us to a specialist. I'm thinking, gee, it doesn't look THAT bad! Barely noticable)

Our state insurance drops dental and vision coverage at the end of the month, so we are trying to get as much as it will cover done before then (I will still be paying extra out of pocket for non-merc fillings)

Also, we plan on doing sealants for DS next visit (covered, and while I have heard opposing views on them, I think it would be preferable to cavities. Opinions? (A dentist we used elsewhere once said one concern he had was the possibility of food/bacteria becoming trapped under the sealant if it became loose, and making for worse decay.)

I would adopt a "only fix them if they threaten her perm. teeth/cause discomfort/they will fall out any=way approach, but I gather the bacteria will tend to accelerate decay if not cleaned up. (This dentist said, "It will make her sick." Gee, could you be a little more alarmist, LOL! )
\TIA for any advice/opinions!

Kimberly, mom to Forest, 11 and Lily, 3 (almost 4
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