C.K. asks from Michigan City, IN on April 01, 2008
Questions on Cavities
My daughter just turned 3 on March 21 and she already has 3 cavities!!! I'm mortified and feel like a terrible mother for letting this happen. We try not to practice bad habits often (ex. candy,too much juice or milk all day, etc.) and we brush her teeth at least once a day. I had lots of cavities as a child and have been told that it can all be inherited. Can anyone make me feel any better?!?!?!
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone who replied. Everyone made me feel much better and I appreciated some of the suggestions that even the dentist didn't fill me in on.
The answers to a couple of questions....we have well water so I have been now trying to give her the water with flouride. Yes, she has been a juice drinker but I never let her take it to bed. I found a new juice with 40% less sugar, it's called Motts for Totts. It only has 16g instead of 28g of sugar. I've decided I'm going to quit beating myself up about this and just be proactive from now on to keep the rest of her teeth as healthy as possible!!! Also, she's seeing a local (Valparaiso) pediactric dentist and they did say they will just watch the 2 small cavities but the one is pretty bad already. It's noticeable so I trust that it needs to be filled. Thanks again for all your replies!!
B.D. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
I have great news, a UCLA scientist JUST, in the last month, started selling a lollipop that he developed. It is anti-germ lollipop that can help fight cavities. I saw it on Good Morning America. They are made with licorice root and are called John's Lollipops. It takes two lollipops a day for 10 days, 4 times a year. I's $10 for 20 pops. The site: http://drjohns.com/herbal/index.html
K.C. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
This will make you feel better: my DH and I are both dentists, my son is also 3 and has 2 cavities! Don't feel bad at all.
A.M. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
Aparently bad teeth are an inhereted trait. The only thing I can say to make you feel better is that those teeth are her baby teeth, so she will loose those eventually. Just keep doing what you're doing. Maybe try ACT mouth wash with her (if she's old enough). The ACT is for kids and they have a special Floride type that helps strengthen teeth. I know how you feel. Oh, soda is no good for teeth.
G.H. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
Did you get her to a ped. dentist? I feel so bad for you. If she brushes 1 time a da, make sure it is at nighttime so nothing is left in there overnight. Try to get her to brush, maybe along side of you or hubby, in the morning also. My heart goes out to you. My husbaands' niece nd nephew had terriable teeth. They drank bottles during the night and hated brushing and the mom just left them. Needless to say, their baby teeth turned black and finally fell out as the grown-up set came in. It was horrible! Good luck mommy.
1 mom found this helpful
K.O. answers from Rockford on April 02, 2008
I am curious how the cavities were diagnosed. Did the dentist use a pick on her teeth, X-ray? I had a dentist who diagnosed two cavities in my (then) 2-year-old daughter simply by looking at her teeth. I took her for a second opinion to a dentist who used a pick to check her teeth and said there were no cavities. If your dentist didn't use a pick or an X-ray to confirm the diagnosis, get a second opinion. You don't want someone drilling into her teeth unless you are absolutely sure it is necessary.
J.C. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
Many kids are getting cavities from not drinking enough tap water. Bottled water doesn't have flouride.
L.S. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
I can so relate to you!!!! I had horrible teeth as a child and I have 4 children. My oldest son is 18 and has had 1 cavity in his whole life. My daughter (age 11) has had so many problems I can't even count them all. But I had the same problems with my teeth as a child. So I really believe it has a lot to do with hereditary. Keep up the brushing and flossing with your daughter, you may need to oversee her brushing habits for longer than you would an average child. Good luck.
L.D. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
I've just been to the dentist myself to have two cavities filled, so this is a fresh subject for me!
I have a great dentist who is able to explain things to me in a palatable way, and she told me about the "inherited" thing. It's not only the shape & size of your teeth that you inherit (and that is genetic), but the kind of bacteria in your mouth can be passed from generation to generation.
We know that plaque, which can lead to cavities, is caused by bacteria. But there are other bacterias, which are less plaque-y, that also live in your mouth. So, as a baby, if the good bacteria takes hold first, your child will have fewer cavities. But, if the plaque-y bacteria gets a foothold first, then your child will be more prone to cavities. And if you as a mom had lots of cavities, then your daughter will likely receive that bacteria from you (especially since you have hung out a lot).
My husband is a great example of this - he brushes religiously, but always has a longer time in the dentist's chair when we go in for cleanings (and we go every six months!). I am a less vigilant brusher, and I rarely floss, but my cleanings are always a breeze. Of course, I did just have two cavities filled... :)
Anyhow, I hope that this helps - you aren't a terrible mother by any means, and there is only so much you can do on the eating end - just make certain that you go to the dentist as often as possible - and of course be up in her business when she is brushing & flossing. But know that you are doing a great job as a mama! Good luck!
P.A. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
Hi. I am a mother to a 9yr old boy, a 5 yr old boy and 18mo. old girl. Our habits have been the same for all kids and my 9 yr old never had and still has no cavities. My 5 yr old at age 4 had a consultation w/a pediadontist and long story short the recommendation was $10,000 for 3 cavities and "carries" on almost all of his teeth. I went back to the dentist who referred me to this pediadontist and told him to please tell me how I am supposed to justify $10,000 on baby teeth. He basically swore me to secrecy that it is not necessary except to fix the 3 cavities that may get deep and painful before they fall out. It is my understanding that the inherited part of it is basically a breakdown of bacteria in the child's mouth that makes them more prone to cavities. He said because they are baby teeth and will fall out to just maintain the 'healthy' habits and add more teeth brushings-after every meal and/or snack. In addition, we use the children's mouthwash and he gets his cleanings and visits every 3 months instead of every 6 months. So, I know how you feel, but if you are doing everything you're supposed to there's nothing more you can do. I guess you're lucky it's not worse. My son had his 3 fillings and we are drill sargeants with tooth brushing to keep the carries as carries and not cavities. He will be prone to it the rest of his life and I hope that we are and continue to instill the importance of "keeping the sugar monsters off his teeth". He does not like going to the dentist so this is his motivation for not fighting us on the issue. Hope this helps.
R.H. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
First of all, just because your daughter has cavities does not mean you haven't been a great Mother who is clearly being pro-active about her daughters dental health. I'm a dental hygienist and my husband is a dentist...we see this scenario a lot! You have to look at the whole picture, genetics, is your water fluoridated??, are you putting your daughter to bed with a sippy cup of milk or juice? Are you giving her "gummy" vitamins daily? A lot of parents were quick to buy these yummy candy like vitamins only to realize that the sticky substance was getting stuck in the pits of their childrens teeth...it could be a number of things, I could go on and on (but I've got my 9 week old little guy on my lap and he's about had it with the tummy time!).
Talk to your dentist and feel free to ask questions. If your not sure about the diagnosis, get a second opinion. Good luck and again, you're already on the right track for getting your 3 year old into the dentist! A lot of times children are not seen until they are 5 or 6 years old and by then the problem has gotten so out of control!
D.V. answers from Chicago on April 02, 2008
Without really good nutrition, teeth get cavities also. We are all led to believe it's sugar, however, we have a fluid inside out teeth that keeps them healthy.
I was fanatical about my kids brushing and they had the same issue. I started them on Shaklee vitamins and after that, they have not had another cavity.
I became a believer that it all starts from the inside then out. Watch a wound, it heals from the inside then the outside. Don't beat yourself up, just get to the bottom of the cause.