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Old 10-06-2014, 06:27 PM
 
Location: South Hampton Roads
203 posts, read 277,221 times
Reputation: 363

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I took my 4 yr old to her 6 month dental appointment today and found out she has 4 cavities. All of the cavities are between her two bottom row back teeth. In previous dental visits my husband and I were told to brush our child's teeth daily, floss daily between the back tight teeth, provide mainly milk and water for drinks as the sugar in juice (both natural sugar and added sugar) can sit on teeth and cause tooth decay, and avoid sticky candy. My daughter's dentist also asked me what type of tooth paste we use for her. We use a natural, non-fluoridated toothpaste, which she approved and applauded because she was concerned about my child swallowing the fluoride.

We give our child 1 juice box a day and it is either the Honest Kids juice which is mostly water or the Apple & Eve 1/3 less sugar juice boxes. My child eats sweets. I know that this can be the harbinger of death in regards to tooth decay -- still, I bake homemade cake, choco-chip cookies and eat ice cream -- we eat them, but again, my daughter brushes every day and flosses -- we do it for her (especially before bed). She also takes 2 high dose vitamin c gummies every day, too (which are exactly like sticky candy -- I've tasted them. At the same time, they have helped her avoid getting sick at daycare and when she does get sick, it helps to cut her sickness almost in half).

I was surprised at 4 cavities. My child's dentist seemed to think it was the juice and that we weren't flossing my daughter's teeth.

Could the watered down juice or the home baked sweets be the culprit here or is it more than likely the lack of fluoride in the toothpaste we use for her?

I remember, as a kid, that I brushed daily, never had access to much in the way of sweets and had cavities all the time. My brother, on the other hand, never brushed his teeth and never had cavities.

I feel badly about what has happened and would like to ensure this doesn't happen again, at the same time, I don't want to deny my child a few home baked goods here and there.

Any suggestions of what you think may be the problem here would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:19 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,253 posts, read 38,143,135 times
Reputation: 20198
Sounds to me like it's a combination of things.

1. If your child isn't drinking fluoridated tap water, then your child isn't getting any fluoride at all, since you've chosen not to provide her with fluoride in toothpaste.
2. Unless your child is deficient in vitamin C, there's no reason for her to be chewing on ascorbic acid gummies. That's acid. On teeth that don't ever see any protective fluoride. Not smart.
3. The way you describe it, it sounds like your child is eating a whole lot of sweets, and you're only brushing her teeth once at night. That means that her mouth has food stuck to the teeth from breakfast til bedtime.

So: no fluoride - sticky ascorbic acid chews - food-in-mouth-all-day-including-lots-of-sweets = cavities.

Solution:
Have her rinse her mouth every morning with a drop of peppermint in water to at -least- freshen her breath.
Have her rinse her mouth after lunch.
Either start using fluoridated toothpaste, or allow her to drink fluoridated tap-water.
Cut down on the sweets. You don't have to eliminate them, but you're laying a foundation of obesity if you're providing the amount of sweets you imply you're providing.

Tooth decay was prevalent among children before cities and towns started adding fluoride in the water supply, and toothpastes were developed with fluoride in them. It is very uncommon for children who use fluoridated toothpaste to have 4 cavities at age 4.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Greater NYC
2,982 posts, read 5,165,582 times
Reputation: 4027
At 2, our pediatric dentist had us specifically start use fluoride kids toothpaste, and she said just a small amount on the brush (you don't need much.)

We did everyone else you do but with the fluoride toothpaste and we've had the older one use a cavity protector mouthwash (ACT or Listerine equivalent) after each brushing since age 4. We do floss every night. We have two, one 7 and one 4 and neither one have had a cavity.
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:56 PM
 
595 posts, read 2,400,965 times
Reputation: 1214
First things first, quit giving her the gummy vitamins. I agree with Anonchick (I usually do) that there is no real reason to be giving her extra vitamins if you can give her food that is a better source. Also, the gummy sticks to the teeth. Start giving her foods that are high in Vitamin C such as red and green peppers, broccoli, kale, strawberries and even mango are wonderful sources of Vit C. Some cut up trees with some ranch dip is a perfect snack for 4 year olds. Make it fun and yummy!

Second, there is nothing wrong with fluoridated toothpaste. There's nothing wrong with non-fluoridated either, but for kiddos fluoridated toothpaste is very good in that helps reinforce the enamel on the teeth. Definitely check to see if your water is fluoridated. You aren't going to overdose her if you have both fluoridated water and use fluoridated toothpaste. A small, tiny smear on the toothbrush is fine at this age. Pea size when she's around 5 or 6.

Cut out the sweets. That right there will ensure you feed the bacteria that cause cavities. As I tell the kid's in the classes I present to each week, the bacteria eat the sugar, and then poop out acid which then weakens the enamel causing the cavity. I understand wanting your kiddo to have a treat, but how often are you giving her these treats? If it's everyday, it's no longer a treat.

Cut out the juice. It's empty calories. Give water with every meal. To me, juice is a treat, even watered down. It's much better to give the whole fruit so she's getting the benefit of the fiber as well.

Check out a brand called Spry. It has xylitol in it which inhibit the bacteria helping to cut down on their numbers. You can find them at Whole Foods. They have gums, and little candies.

Finally, don't beat yourself up to much ok, it happens, you are doing the right thing by taking her to the dentist and by at least being concerned. So start really looking at your diets, be diligent and consistent with brushing and flossing, and know it's ok to use fluoridated toothpaste.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Greater NYC
2,982 posts, read 5,165,582 times
Reputation: 4027
Ohhhh, I just read the gummy vitamins... no, no, no. Our pediatric dentist said from the start at 2, NO gummy vitamins, they invite tooth decay... and that was WITH our children getting fluoride toothpaste. AND, now that I think of it, our pediatrician also said no gummy vitamins as well but we'd already taken it to heart from the dentist.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:59 PM
 
2,934 posts, read 4,663,627 times
Reputation: 2815
Does your dentist give her a fluoride treatment in the office every year? My son's dentist did that every year until he was at least 18 years old.

http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Membe...atient_72.ashx
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:59 PM
 
1,552 posts, read 1,939,048 times
Reputation: 2379
As a dentist, I applaud you for taking responsibility for the tooth decay of your child, and looking for ways to improve for the future. You wouldn't believe how often parents try to place blame on anything/anyone else......such as "soft teeth run in my family". This is not a heart attack and this can be treated with minimal long-term effects.

To have tooth decay, you have to have sugar among other things. It's impossible to completely avoid sugar since this is a required part of a healthy diet in addition to protein and fat. The main issue is to avoid forms of sugar that stay in the mouth. I recently had a patient that said he brushed every day, and I could tell that his teeth were "clean" and he DID brush every day. He had a bottle of Mountain Dew in his hands and said he goes through a 6-pack of Mountain Dew every day at work. I explained that 3 minutes of toothbrushing every day is no match for continuous bathing his teeth in sugar and acid. It's not only what you do (brushing/flossing) but also what you DON'T do that matters. Gummy treats tend to be sugary and stay on the teeth and at that point it doesn't matter if they have fluoride or not because the battle is already lost.

While there are intrinsic factors and anatomy that make it impossible to avoid all cavities, most can be avoided with brushing/flossing and minimizing sugar that stays in the mouth. The last thing that goes in the mouth every night should be a toothbrush. My 8-year-old just tonight wanted milk. He already brushed his teeth so I gave him the milk with the understanding that he has to go brush his teeth again before bed.

Use fluoride toothpaste. Don't get tricked by "natural" remedies which is a marketing ploy. Snake venom is natural but none of us would inject it into our children. Dentists are generally staunch advocates of fluoride....name another industry that has tried to put itself out of business by promoting such a solution. A toothbrush will put me out of business. I hope this helps.
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:06 PM
 
2,934 posts, read 4,663,627 times
Reputation: 2815
Tendency towards cavities & periodontal disease may be hereditary:

Genes Linked to Tooth Decay & Gum Disease – DNA, Teeth, Gums – Dr. Alexandre Vieira FAM5C – Colgate
"Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine have found that certain genetic variations may be the cause of tooth decay and aggressive periodontitis and have published two papers on the topic."


Of course, one still needs good dental hygiene, even if you have great genes.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:53 PM
 
7 posts, read 37,811 times
Reputation: 12
I fully agree with Anon. If you have access to tap water which contains Fluoride, you don"t need toothpaste with Fluoride. As you are aware adding Fluoride into our body through toothpaste or mouthwash has negative effect especially for children.
It is important to kill the bacteria in the mouth after having sugar content food. Do not brush her teeth immediately, give her a lot of water to drink. Dilute few drops peppermint oil and use it as mouthwash.
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:59 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,253 posts, read 38,143,135 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by jojo4321 View Post
I fully agree with Anon. If you have access to tap water which contains Fluoride, you don"t need toothpaste with Fluoride. As you are aware adding Fluoride into our body through toothpaste or mouthwash has negative effect especially for children.
It is important to kill the bacteria in the mouth after having sugar content food. Do not brush her teeth immediately, give her a lot of water to drink. Dilute few drops peppermint oil and use it as mouthwash.
You're not fully agreeing with me then. Fluoridated water + fluoridated toothpaste + rinsing the mouth after eating sweets + flossing + eliminating "gummy" vitamins completely = optimal dental health.

Not water OR toothpaste.

My suggestion for the OP was exclusively for the OP, because for whatever reason, the OP has chosen to deprive her child of ALL fluoride. So I'm saying one source is better than no source. But two sources is better than one source.

The child doesn't need a lot of water to drink, the child needs to not eat so much sugar.

And there's no need to "kill the bacteria in the mouth" after having sugar content food. There's a need to *prevent* bacteria from pooling by rinsing the mouth after eating sweets. There's plenty of bacteria in the mouth, naturally, whether you eat sweets or not. It's perfectly fine for it to exist, it is the mouth's defense system. Sugar stuck to the teeth and mixed with the existing bacteria will grow more bacteria, which is something you want to _prevent_ and not something you want to have to kill after it's already shown up.
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