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 Post subject: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:04 pm 
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Semen Strong
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While brushing L's teeth I found a massive cavity. I know that we have a lot of cavities so I had tried to keep from sharing the bacteria that cause cavities with her, but I guess it didn't work. It sucks because even though I know 40% of 2 to 5 year olds have them, I thought we were doing a good job. She swears it doesn't hurt, but I can insert a pick quite deeply. I am freaked out at what this is going to mean esp because she won't let us use Fluoride toothpaste. And until I read kimba's post in the other thread I didn't know we needed to start with Fluoride so early. We are seeing a dentist next week, but I would love reassurance if anyone has any and ideas on how to prepare her. Our first dentist visit was a complete busy at 1 and I just want him to be able to actually examine her this time with minimal trauma.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:33 pm 
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Are you going to a pediatric dentist? Hopefully now that she's older she'll be able to better understand what's happening. I know Daniel Tiger has a doctor espisode, it might be worth checking if they or another show has a dentist episode? To prepare with my kids, I just went over the basic basic stuff, like you get to sit in a big chair, then they brush your teeth with a special toothbrush! It's so cool and it won't hurt!
We go to a great kid's place with amazing hygenists, so I don't have to do much. My 6-year-old just got his first cavity filled yesterday and he was terrified. They used nitrous and showed him all of the tools before starting and he did alright.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:39 pm 
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Oh thank you for sharing that! She is 3, and we still have a really hard time brushing her teeth and she gets really worried about the bacteria in her teeth and sugar and all that stuff, so I am really worried about traumatizing her :( And yes he is a pediatric dentist, which is good, but I still don't think this is going to be easy....

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:12 pm 
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Another thing we do is bring a stuffed animal that they can hold in their lap so that might be an option if she has a favorite toy or blanket. When you said she is worried about bacteria and sugar, did you mean L or the dentist?

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:56 pm 
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L is now refusing to eat sugar "because I don't want cavities." I feel bad that I'm scaring her off sugar by explaining dental health to her. But I really want to be honest about why we brush teeth

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:07 pm 
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ideas ^^^ so far are good. i tried extra hard to not be alarmist because i didn't want my fear of dentists to transfer to baggy. i would say don't beat yourself up about it, some people are more disposed than others, and what's done is done.

if it were me, thinking back to that fun age and her curious nature, there are two teachable moments.
The first is to talk to her about pigeons. Imagine if there was food everywhere, scattered all around, there would be pigeons everywhere, right? Bacteria in your mouth are like pigeons, they just want to eat what's laying around, and that's why we brush our teeth, it's like cookies in the street, we need to sweep the cookies away. The idea of pigeons (or ducks, or weasels, or whatever) is enough to make her giggle and you can expand it to pigeons' favorite food being like sugar, etc.

Second moment would be in case she is concerned about bacteria- they're not just bad, there are good bacteria too. She might find termites fun- they can only eat wood because of the bacteria in their bellies. Bacteria are just looking for something yummy, not necessarily out to kill everyone. And there have been some awesome videos and articles about people here in Brazil (and probably elsewhere too) pumping termite nests full of concrete to see what kind of structures they build... I've found when talking about the serious stuff it's always nice to have something physical and interesting that the kid can latch on to or hide behind (yes, even talking about drugs, sex, pregnancy, etc). From how it has gone around here, the hard questions come later, when you are least expecting it, but in the meantime why not give her something interesting and not-super-threatening to chew on while she is thinking hard.

(can you tell we had to have this conversation too? bacteria and ebola and viruses, oh my.)

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:21 pm 
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Oh I like those! Thanks Torque!

Mostly, we're practicing what its like at the dentist and having her model opening her mouth and then examining mine. We have "Show Me Your Smile" the Dora book about dentists but I couldn't find the Daniel Tiger dentist one (if someone has a link that would be awesome!). I'm worried its going to be a disaster and she'll get hysterical and not open her mouth at the dentist :( But pediatric dentists are used to that I imagine.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:34 pm 
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I love the pigeon analogy torque.

I have terrible teeth (as did my parents and grandparents before me) and had an attendant fear of dentists for way too much of my life. (Finally found a dentist who treated me like a human being, and what I've discovered is that I have no fear whatsoever of dental tools or procedures, noises, people poking in my mouth, etc-- just a fear of being judged instilled by one extremely nasty hygienist when I was a kid. But that's a separate story I guess.) So like torque, I've really made an effort to play it cool re: dentists so as not to transfer my bad feelings on the subject. It helps that my kids see the same dentist as me, at a family practice, and I was able to describe him to them ahead of time, tell them how funny he is, what his office is like, etc. E especially was REALLY psyched to meet him by the time he went to his first appointment.

Both my kids had cavities at their first appointments (at ages almost-5 and 2, btw). E had two, one in one of his 2 year molars and one on a front tooth that got broken in a fall several years back. We chose to have treatment on the molar based on the fact that he will have that tooth for some time yet and he's big enough/old enough that it wasn't a particularly difficult procedure. M has one, coincidentally in the same exact tooth as E-- but his mouth is so small (and he is so recalcitrant) that we've decided to wait and see how it progresses before treating it. For what it's worth, they've both had fluoride toothpaste since their first teeth came in, and M I've even been flossing since his first teeth came in. My dentist said there's thought to be a link between how early teething starts (very early for my kids) and likelihood of cavities, and also just mentioned that most kids will get at least one in their baby teeth.

E was a lot older for the first appointment and honestly he loves medical professionals so I kinda knew that would be fine. M does NOT dig doctors (or strangers at all), and I had my concerns about how he'd do ahead of time. It helped to let my dentist know about them (before the visit, without the kid in earshot) so that my dentist would be prepared to stop if M seemed too freaked out. M was pretty hesitant about the initial exam and I ended up sitting in the dental chair and holding him in my lap and chatting with him about what was going on the whole time. As long as I was holding him, he was fine, and afterwards he was really excited about the visit. He ended up being able to get both an exam (including an x-ray of the tooth we were really concerned about) and a cleaning with minimal fuss and it ended up being a really positive experience for him.

Good luck with Leela's visit! I hope it goes well and that they have something reassuring to say about the cavity!

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:00 am 
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Torque--great story ideas!
So Daniel Tiger doesn't have a dentist episode after all. But in searching I did find some you tube videos made in real dentist's offices?

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:08 am 
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what do they typically do for cavitiesin baby teeth?
do they fill them? pull them?

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:14 am 
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LisaPunk wrote:
what do they typically do for cavitiesin baby teeth?
do they fill them? pull them?

They should be filling them. My understanding is that if the teeth are pulled, it might affect how the adult teeth come in.


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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:12 pm 
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It depends on the condition of the teeth. If an extraction is needed they can put spacers in to leave space for the permanent teeth.

Thank you C&S and Kiddo for sharing your experience. It definitely is putting my mind at rest. And Torque I love the pigeon analogy too!

And thank you everyone for the kind comments!

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:00 pm 
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I thought this was really interesting.

List of risk factors for childhood cavities:
http://www.simplestepsdental.com/SS/iht ... 66874.html

I thought the recommendations that the caregiver start chewing gum with xylitol was really interesting.

I just feel horribly guilty about the cavity (and there may be more that I can't see), and this list helps me think of what I could have done differently. She doesn't drink juice (though she does drink smoothies), she is a grazer (going to try and keep more defined mealtimes), she doesn't use bottles but she does eat lots of sweet stuff, which we are going to replace.

I wish they would fluoridate our water, and now I'm going to have to find a way to get fluoride toothpaste into her, and it sucks because we had a great brushing routine down, but now we're back to the fighting because she just wants baby toothpaste.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:43 pm 
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Sorry to hear about the cavity!

What sorts of toothpaste have you tried? My kid really likes the Tom's of Maine kids Silly strawberry or Orange mango flavors.

He's 4 and we haven't been to a dentist yet due to stupid insurance red tape. I've been hoping he's OK because he doesn't complain of any issues and his teeth look fine, plus he was super late getting teeth (which supposedly means they're strong). Now this thread is making me nervous again, I really need to take him asap!

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:35 pm 
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If you can't get her to do fluoride toothpaste, you can get bottled water with fluoride. (We don't have fluoridated water either and one of my friends was all about it for a while.). I think it's sold by... Dannon or someone weird like that?

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:36 pm 
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Great thinking!!! THANK YOU! We used to give her multivitamin with fluoride but stopped because the iron was staining her teeth. I think I will call our ped and see if we can get some prescribed and talk to the dentist on Wednesday.

Now I think I see cavities on the top teeth as well, so I'm a bit of a basket case at the moment. I just feel so bad

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Last edited by Tofulish on Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:36 pm 
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(My kids are all about the silly strawberry too for the record. Both of them forking hate mint and cry when they see the mint toothpaste.)

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:41 pm 
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Yes, we only do the toms kid flavors. Scarlett still seems to remember the one time we gave her mint when she was like a year old.


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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:43 pm 
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Are the Tom's ones clear? Her baby toothpaste is clear and we can't even smuggle anything else on the brush that isn't clear. Oy.

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:16 pm 
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So I just got a gander in Giles mouth...and there is a cavity :( We do not have dental insurance for him. There is NO WAY in the world he is going to allow a dental exam or treatment without being sedated. This sucks.


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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:42 pm 
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Don't quote me on this but I thought dental care for kids was required under ACA from health insurance for US people. We have a letter somewhere saying Charlotte has dental care from tufts who is our health insurance.

Of course that means you have to have regular health insurance

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:57 pm 
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T, the Tom's I have is white like standard adult toothpaste.

At one point, E got a sample of sparkly blue kids toothpaste with fluoride-- Crest kids I think-- and he loved that shiitake. It wasn't exactly minty in flavor. Maybe L would be into it since it looks so different?

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:04 am 
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I am so sorry annasrobbie! Its really hard to see our little ones upset and not understanding why they need to do something. Pediatric dentists are used to working with uncooperative and unwilling patients and they have tricks to get you through it. I've heard one of the ones here has a bouncy castle in the front room, so the kids who go there love it and loosen up before they go in to see her. Everyone seems to recommend the same 2 people, who sound like they go really slow and explain a lot to the children. And if all else fails, there is nitrous or general for dental work on very little ones. So even if it seems really impossible, I am sure they will have a way to help Giles.

For what its worth, if you are uninsured, then many practitioners will work with you. One of the ones who comes very highly recommended gives a 25% discount to people who don't have insurance.

Sending you many good thoughts!

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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:00 am 
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Yeah the toms is white. I'm sorry annasrobbie, I know how expensive dental work can be. My partner has had a ridiculous amount of dental problems and no insurance, and we have started calling his mouth "the money pit."


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 Post subject: Re: Preschooler Cavities
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:09 am 
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I use the Natural Dentist cavity zapper toothpastes for my kids, and they are clear. They have fluoride, and my kids like both the grape and berry flavors pretty well.


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