4 Year Old with Cavities - San Pedro,CA

Updated on May 07, 2013
T.B. asks from Springfield, VA
9 answers

We just returned from the dentist and he says that my 4 year old has 6 cavities!!! He thinks that she has a certain bacteria in her mouth that causes her to be prone to them, since she has a healthy diet (few sweets or juice) and tooth care. My other three children have never had any cavities. He proposed putting her to sleep to do the fillings and to use MI Paste along with brushing and flossing to prevent further cavities. Has anyone had these issues with their children's teeth? Thanks so much!

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answers from Dallas on

My youngest had a lot of cavities young. So did most of his cousin's on my husband's side. Sometimes there is nothing that you can do to keep this from happening.

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answers from Washington DC on

We just went through this. My daughter has poor enamel and first saw a dentist at 10 months old. I've discussed this with her dentists (she sees one of several in a practice) and with our own dentist.

We did the anesthesia and fix it route ourselves, just a month ago. It took about an hour + the prep and recovery time. I think it was better than going back 4 times and getting shots in her gums. I saw the xrays myself to confirm the cavities between her molars. We have a problem with her having tight molars and she ate a ton of raisins (which are sticky). Hopefully we will not have this problem again, as we are flossing (those flosser things are great) and have cut back on raisins.

FWIW, her sister had/has bad teeth and their brother has great teeth. I had enamel issues as a preschooler, too.

Sorry you are dealing with it. I won't say that it's "no big deal" to have them filled, but I do not regret having them filled while she was under. In our case, they worked with the pediatric OR at the local hospital so I was more reassured. We also had to have DD seen by her pediatrician within 7 days of the surgery and she was evaluated AGAIN by the anesthesiologist and a nurse the day of. And the experience made an impression on DD. She WANTS to floss and brush and doesn't fight us, ever.

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answers from Philadelphia on

my 6 year old was at a general dentist 2 months ago and he saw two very slight cavities and filled them and then i followed up with a pediatric dentist this last saturday and she says she has EIGHT (including those previous two) and wants to do the same your dentist wants to. she said its very common nowadays to see so many in kids and she sees it all of the time. I'm confused how the other denitst missed them all..although he didnt do x-rays and gentically her dad and i didnt have cavities untilw we were teens,

two of my cousins kids had the same this year...so apparently its not that uncommon although i feel like a crappy parent for her having cavities. she has relfux so they said that could have caused it because she brushes in the morning well while i watch and then i ussually brush at night after she does to make sure she's good. although previously i did not floss her teeth. we will now though

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answers from Portland on

Yes, my grandson had several cavities at this age. The dentist didn't suggest the bacteria issue. The first dentist would only fill them under general anesthesia. His mom took him to a well known in the area pediatric dentist who does not use general anesthesia. He filled them one or two at a time using laughing gas. It's a twilight sort of anesthesia in which the child is awake but somewhat sedated. The child doesn't remember what happened during the sedation. My grandson did well doing this. He is autistic and fought the first dentist just to get an exam. He likes going to the dentist, now.

With general anesthesia the work gets done all at once. With laughing gas you need several appointments. General anesthesia is expensive and so I doubt that the cost is any more doing it with laughing gas.

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answers from Anchorage on

are these actual cavities or just the starts of decay? Do her teeth need to be sealed to prevent further damage? Some kids teeth don't form fully, leaving holes and divots that are hard to clean and can lead to decay. With my son, also age 4, they found decay in his molars due to this condition, but not full out deep cavities that needed drilling. They were able to use a type of sandblaster to gently clean away the decay without the need for sedation and then sealed the teeth so it would not happen again.

I also had teeth that did not fully form, but back when I was a kid they did not seal just for prevention so I have fillings in almost all of my teeth. Ask your dentist about getting your sons teeth sealed, most insurance will cover it now as preventative

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answers from San Diego on

You can thank genetics.
I have 3 kids. One has had 3 small cavities his entire life and he's 9. My other 2..well..by the time my first was 3 he already needed a couple root canals to give you an idea of what we're dealing with. My third child is about to turn 4 and she's had several cavities already.
It isn't from what we feed them, it isn't because we don't brush and floss and all of that. It is genetics. The 2 that have had problems have weak enamel and are prone to more cavities. My husband had the very same problem. His mom was saying it took everything to just keep the teeth in his mouth until they fell out naturally. He had tons of cavities until his adult teeth came in.
A note about sealants in baby teeth. We asked about them for our youngest since she's already showing signs of what her older brother went through. They don't put them on baby teeth because they don't adhere to the baby teeth and have been proven to not work. Also, they only work on the top, flat eating surface. They do nothing to protect between the teeth or to protect the fronts or backs. So sealants only work on the tops of the molars.
Our dentist has never put my kids under. There really isn't the need. They will give them a little laughing gas if needed and will sometimes use a special swaddling blanket which keeps little hands safe. Our pediatric dentist also specializes in special needs children and they use these same things for them. They discourage putting children completely under unless it's the very last option.
I would get another opinion, to me the pediatric dentist sounds a little aggressive and may be doing a lot more than is necessary.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I would not allow any dental work to be done on the kiddo's if they weren't sedated completely. I think it's too h*** o* them to go through this.

It happens. Cavities just happen. She may just have weaker enamel than the other kids. Not a big deal once you realize that's the issue and work with it to make it less intrusive.



answers from Philadelphia on

I was shocked when my four and five year olds had tons of cavities. I think it was the gummy vitamins I was giving at bedtime. Now they have one or no cavities at their check ups.



answers from Chicago on

Laser dentistry is getting to be popular and I really recommend it. We had it done recently and there was no pain and no medication (most important), just a laser light and some resin. Message me if you'd like details.

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