4 Year-old Has 10 Cavities!

Updated on January 19, 2010
C.P. asks from Hurst, TX
6 answers

Mamas - I need your advice! I just took our 4 year-old daughter to the dentist for her first cleaning. The dentist said her enamel wasn't fully formed on some of her teeth, but that she had 8-10 cavities that would need to have crowns! I had one cavity in a baby tooth, and didn't have anymore until I was pregnant with her. My husband didn't have any problems either. She has food allergies - nuts and dairy - so, she drinks Rice Milk instead of cow's milk. But, juice and candy are extremely limited in our house, and NO sodas! I admit she goes to bed with a sippy cup of milk and we don't stay on her about brushing her teeth. But, I'm still shocked that she would require CROWNS on so many teeth. I've read some responses to similar posts, but just wanted more opinions. I certainly understand getting the crowns on her molars, since those won't come out for a few years, but there are 4 teeth that should be coming out within the next year or two. Is it necessary to crown those now? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We have put a stop to the milk at bedtime and have started brushing her teeth twice a day. And, we went to a pediatric dentist, Dr. Preece in Keller. They have said she'd have it done at Cook's under sedation. Just has me worried....


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answers from Dallas on

I'm going through something similar with my 5 yr old so i TOTALLY understand your concern. Mine doesn't drink juice, etc. He had his check up last week and the dentist said he need 8 cavities. The more I thought about it, the more concerned I got. I ended up getting a second opinion from my dentist. He took x-rays and went through them with me in pretty good detail. He seconded the first Dr's diagnosis in the end. When the teeth are that decayed, there's a risk of an absessed tooth, infection and possibly spreading the decay to the adult teeth.

It just made me feel better talking to my own dentist. The problem with our pediatric dentist is that I can't go back with him so I have no clue what's going on. I see the Dr for maybe 3 minutes and he didn't go through the x-rays like my dentist did. Moving forward, I'm going to request a more thorough discussion with the dentist and the hygenist as well. Five yr olds (and 4 yr olds) don't always do the best job of telling me what happened. I think if the first dentist had spent more time talking to me, I would have felt better about his diagnosis.

You might want to try somethign similar if you like your dentist. The end diagnosis might be the same, but at least you'll feel more sure about the procedure.



answers from Dallas on

I know how you feel! My the 6 almost '7 year old had to get 2 crowns and a baby root canal! I did some researching about it and found out that is is actually pretty common. We did go to Dr. Preece and used Dr. Church. I loved him he was great! I did have a huge problem with the lady filing insurance though... Make sure YOU can have dental procedures in a hospital and have it covered. I didn't know it but mine did not and the lady said that she varified with the insurance... Long story short, our insurance company records there calls and she did not tell the insurance company it was dental. After fighting with them and getting the recording, Dr. Preece footed the bill. I'm am not sure about the teeth that she will be losing other then it could affect her perm. teeth that are comming in?? HOpe this helps



answers from Dallas on

I took my daughter(now 4 1/2) for her first cleening when she was 18 months old. She had two cavities (molars), and one on each of her front teeth. The pediatric denist we went to said we would have to do it under sedation. I freeked out! I brushed her teeth twice a day, sometimes more if she eat dry fruit or anything a little sticky, and we flossed everyday. We opted for a second opinion. The other dentist we went to was a friend of my husbands in OK. He was great with her and filled all four cavities within an hour. He told us her teeth were very soft so she will always have problems with her baby teeth so we make sure we take her in every 3 months for a check up. Her front tooth filling falls out all the time because of how soft her teeth are so I asked about a crown for it. He told me he does not recommend putting crowns on baby teeth. I think you should get a second opinion. Good news her adult teeth will probably be great :).


answers from Dallas on

I would get a second opinion if I were you. I once had a dentist tell me that I had 16 cavities, went to another dentist who said that I only had 4...
Alot of dentists try to screw parents and people over for the money. It might save your daughter (and you) alot of strife!



answers from Dallas on

I would also get a 2nd opinion but if you are really concerned, do not let her go to bed with milk. I have read that that can just eat away at teeth. Maybe she could use some mouthwash at night and then she wouldn't want milk.... maybe substitute with water :-)
Just an idea, I know that can be a hard habit to break.

Good Luck!


answers from Dallas on

My daughter had to have a few crowns put in for the same reason when she was 5. Four a I believe. It was soo fustrating. They had to put her under as well but they did it in the office so no hospital bills. Check out:

Dentistry 4 Children

480 W Southlake Blvd. Suite 132 Southlake, TX, 76092

Next question: Whether to Cap or Fill Baby Molars on 2 Year Old / Level of Pain to Expect