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Old 06-13-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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This has been brought up in a couple threads lately and on my mind a lot lately

A family member called me recently very upset , her child needed to have four teeth pulled and spacers put in (they are place keepers for perm teeth)

Here's some pictures of what they look like, you can see they are pretty serious dentisry.

Pediatric Dentistry: Space Maintainers

Family member admitted that she suspected 4yo was in some pain due to cavities before the visit to the dentist. And of course, he'd most likely be in pain after the procedure (plus the spacers will have to be removed later on)

They had great insurance but the sedation (scary for her to think of her child being sedated) isn't covered. All in all - they were looking at several thousand dollars in dental care (and they have GREAT insurance, her husband owns his own insurance agency) Plus both parents ended up taking time off work.

Genetically - some people just have better, thicker, harder enamel on their teeth - but , by and large, this could have been prevented.

I saw/heard of a lot of "bottle rot" when I was a foster parent - so I've been pretty vigilant with my own daughter. Anyway - it's really hard to get a toddler's teeth brushed so I thought maybe some of the more experinced moms could share some of their tips?

What's worked for me - she's got her "fun character" toothbrushes that she uses, but I use some cheaper plain baby, toddler toothbrushes when I brush her teeth. They have a longer skinnier handler and a flatter back so I can get to her molars easier.

We've got toothbrushes and paste in each of the bathrooms and the kitchen. She wants to brush her teeth if she sees us doing it and if we have to stop and get her stuff out of her bathroom, the "moment" has often passed. (I round up her toothbrushes and run them thru the dishwaser from time to time)

We play dentist with her stuffed animals.

We've been practicing rinsing and spitting with water so she can get ready for rinses.

I give her regular and yougurt covered rasiens from time to time - they are pretty shelf stable and I keep a couple boxes in my purse for emergencies. Plus individually wrapped prunes - handy if she seems like she's gotten a little "backed up". Recently the dentist said those aren't so great for her teeth as snacks - they are both sugary and tend to stick on teeth.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:37 AM
 
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Sounds like you are doing a great job. Yes, I've heard raisins are not ideal too. They get stuck between the teeth and are very concentrated with sugar.

The other thing to watch is starchy food. The issue is as I understand it, that the starch converts to sugar and the sugar is metabolized by the bacteria into acid which causes the cavities.

The other thing that's an issue is the passing on of the bacteria in the first place. The bacteria that causes the decay is a strain called Streptococcus Mutans. It causes rapid and undetectable decay in baby teeth, which is why it's often too late to save the tooth by the time it's discovered. It's best to avoid any exchange of saliva with a baby. Baby's mouths are born sterile, they get the bacteria passed on by other people.

If you have the perfect storm of compromised enamel and presence of the bacteria, even being super vigilant with brushing may not be enough. Our child had an extended period of vomiting from a stomach virus, the dentist thinks that that may have contributed greatly to her issues, along with her pediatrician recommending soy milk in her bottle, which has the tendency to stick to the teeth. Soy milk has low sugar compared to other sources, but we really should have not been giving her anything at all except water in a bottle and/or sippy cup.

The best advice I could pass on is to avoid sugary drinks for babies, especially in bottles and sippy cups, encourage them to drink from an open cup or with a straw as soon as possible, and take the child to a pediatric dentist from the time they get teeth.

Please don't listen to your dentist if they tell you not to take the child until they're 3 or older. Often that can be way too late, and adult dentists really do not (mostly) understand the issues you can have with baby teeth.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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I hope your relative got a second opinion before going through with that. It could be the same, but it wouldn't hurt to check. My oldest had some issues in the womb that have continued to cause various problems throughout his life up to this point. One issue was his teeth. We did everything you are supposed to. We never put him to bed with a bottle, used the little baby toothbrush that goes on the end of your finger, brushed his teeth once he had them. Reading the other thread, I was trying to remember what age we started giving him juice. He was at least a year old, and we always diluted it. It was never in a bottle.

Around 4 years old the dentist took his first x-rays (this was not his first visit) and found a ton of cavities. He had to be put under to get several fillings and 2 crowns. The first dentist even wanted to pull his front 4 top teeth. We ended up at a different dentist who was ok with leaving those 4 to fall out on their own.

We didn't do anything different with our younger son, and his teeth have been fine. I think some of it is preventable, but sometimes it is just bad luck or bad genetics.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
I hope your relative got a second opinion before going through with that. It could be the same, but it wouldn't hurt to check. My oldest had some issues in the womb that have continued to cause various problems throughout his life up to this point. One issue was his teeth. We did everything you are supposed to. We never put him to bed with a bottle, used the little baby toothbrush that goes on the end of your finger, brushed his teeth once he had them. Reading the other thread, I was trying to remember what age we started giving him juice. He was at least a year old, and we always diluted it. It was never in a bottle.

Around 4 years old the dentist took his first x-rays (this was not his first visit) and found a ton of cavities. He had to be put under to get several fillings and 2 crowns. The first dentist even wanted to pull his front 4 top teeth. We ended up at a different dentist who was ok with leaving those 4 to fall out on their own.

We didn't do anything different with our younger son, and his teeth have been fine. I think some of it is preventable, but sometimes it is just bad luck or bad genetics.
That's great advice. Getting a second opinion is an excellent suggestion.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:06 AM
 
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My daughter, at the age of 7, had to have 2 baby teeth "capped" with spacers, they were so rotten. Both spacers have now been 'pushed out' by the adult teeth now (age 9). The spacers help lessen the chance of her needing braces later - according to her dentist.

The culprits, according to her dentist, were raisins and 'gummy snacks' - my son preferred chocolate or 'cake like' treats and has never had a cavity. The dentist told my daughter to avoid anything 'sticky', which was a real downer for her, as the sticky treats were her favorites.

Now, with her adult teeth, she knows that if she wants to have something sticky, she has to brush her teeth immediately afterward and floss too - which makes it not worth it for her.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
Please don't listen to your dentist if they tell you not to take the child until they're 3 or older. Often that can be way too late, and adult dentists really do not (mostly) understand the issues you can have with baby teeth.
Yeah, my husband was at his dentist and mentioned our daughter, looking for a referral of a good pedi dentist in the area - and they (both the hygentist and the dentist said we didn't really need to take her until she was 3! The advice got my husband thinking maybe he should find another dentist!

I've bought some small (purse sized) cooler type containers - so I can offer her carrot sticks/bell pepper slices/celery etc when she's looking for a snack instead of the raisins or crackers I normally have on hand.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bakeneko View Post
Yeah, my husband was at his dentist and mentioned our daughter, looking for a referral of a good pedi dentist in the area - and they (both the hygentist and the dentist said we didn't really need to take her until she was 3! The advice got my husband thinking maybe he should find another dentist!
That's exactly what happened to me. I didn't know any better and took their advice. They were quite adamant about it too. And from previous discussions about this on this forum, we aren't the only ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakeneko View Post
I've bought some small (purse sized) cooler type containers - so I can offer her carrot sticks/bell pepper slices/celery etc when she's looking for a snack instead of the raisins or crackers I normally have on hand.
Fabulous! Great idea.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakeneko View Post
Yeah, my husband was at his dentist and mentioned our daughter, looking for a referral of a good pedi dentist in the area - and they (both the hygentist and the dentist said we didn't really need to take her until she was 3! The advice got my husband thinking maybe he should find another dentist!

I've bought some small (purse sized) cooler type containers - so I can offer her carrot sticks/bell pepper slices/celery etc when she's looking for a snack instead of the raisins or crackers I normally have on hand.
What really got me is that even at 4 years old the dentist was about to send us on our way w/o x-rays until I mentioned it. If we hadn't done the x-rays, the cavities wouldn't have been seen until a future visit and he would have been even worse off than he already was.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:17 PM
 
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Our dentist told us with our kids that as long as they'd sit still and allow the dentist to poke around in there, they were old enough. My son had his first exam in my lap at the age of 2 1/2 - when he'd slipped and hit the front of his face on a toilet. He sat still for the xrays too.

My daughter was also 2 1/2 her first time - but she insisted on sitting there by herself (of course, she had the benefit of watching her big brother do it first)
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:34 AM
 
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Default Question about spacers

My almost 8 year old daughter recently had a baby tooth ("I" tooth) and a spare tooth pulled (called a supernumeral). Now the orthodontist is recommeding she get a spacer while we wait for the adult "I" tooth to grow in. The baby tooth was a little wiggly (and she has been extremely early with all her teeth) so its probably less than 6 months until the adult tooth comes in. I asked the orthodontist if she thinks we could wait until January when I can afford the almost $500 spacer that insurance does not cover and she said yes that should be okay. Her tooth was pulled in early Oct so thatss about 3 months with no spacer.

Now having explained all that I'm really struggling with whether to plunk out the $500 or just wait it out, which means the front adult tooth next to the hole may tilt into it a little causing more crooked teeth. But I do know that she will need braces anyways, but the question is to what degree. The Ortho recommends the spacer to prevent more issues for the braces to correct. I'm not sure if once the adult tooth comes in it'll push the other teeth back into place or what, there's no way for anyone to know. Money is really tight so its a big deal to pay $500. But this is not easy for me to decide, part of me thinks well she's going to need braces anyways and no one I know ever needed anything like this and everything worked out fine. But the other part feels like I'd be a bad mom if I dont go with the recommendation. I'm hoping to get some other parents' experiences/opinions (not just the orthodontist since they make the money off us) so I can better make my decision. Anyone have similiar situation? Thank you in advance!
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