Cavities and Toddlers

Updated on February 11, 2011
S.O. asks from Edmond, OK
8 answers

Hi Moms,

I am super diligent about brushing my sons teeth. I have bad teeth and I know it can be genetic so I have been pro-active from the start. I think I discovered a cavity and I am devistated. I am going to bring him to the dentist soon. I was wondering though....are cavities in toddlers typical? I feel like a terrible mom right about now. I brush his teeth twice a day. Thanks for any support you might have :)

Update: My son does not go to sleep with a bottle. We brush his teeth right before bed every night.

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So What Happened?

Oh and I meant to ask. How do they fix cavities in toddlers? Do they put them to sleep? My son is two.

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answers from Washington DC on

My DD was 10 mo. when what I thought was a chipped tooth was a baby cavity. I would take him to a pediatric dentist to get started on treatment. They cleaned her tooth, filled it (will have to be redone later, but it was superficial so they didn't have to drill, but for now it's protected) and started seeing us every 3-4 mo. We FINALLY got to the point where they could do a full cleaning (and she was an angel. I was so proud) and they put us on a 6 mo. schedule.

Apparently I had poor enamel when I was a toddler, too, something Mom didn't remind me of til I told her about this.

So...been there. Doing that. See the dentist. It'll be okay.

Oh, and I think that it depends on the cavity. My DD's was caught early and not drilled, but if he has a bigger problem, he may need sedation.

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answers from Los Angeles on

my daughter is 3 and at high risk for cavities since her teeth are very close together. i brush her teeth 2 times a day and floss her teeth once. it really depends on the dentist if the will or not. i dont believe that my daughters personal dentist puts them out. i think they only do it if its absolutely needed. my daughter has seen her dentist since a year old :)

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Call Dr. Jason Lee, he has offices in OKC on 52nd and North Portland and in Midwest City on Park Lawn. He has wonderful bedside manner and is so awesome we travel over 125 miles to see only him. Smiling Faces is the practice. Ask for the appointment to be with only him. The other docs are older and even though they are good Dr. Lee only uses white material for fillings and caps. Some only use silver due to being baby teeth but he says kids can be cruel and why give them something else to make fun of.

You'll want to make the appointment for a general check up, that's where he will start. He may just look around in the mouth the first time and if he sees anything suspicious he may go ahead and do X-rays. If there is a cavity that needs to be filled he will put the child to sleep at either Baptist, Midwest City, or Children's hospital and fix the tooth under anesthesia. It's really great, the kids just doze off and when they wake up the work is finished, they are safe and have no memories of the procedure. He is the only one I let touch my grandkids. K had several cavities and had broken a tooth off. She had a cap and I couldn't even tell which tooth it was, even when her baby teeth fell out I could not tell which one was the cap. He did such good work.

I have horror stories of dentists in OKC that basically tortured me when I was a child or young adult and I will not go to the dentist now except to go to sleep and have teeth pulled in emergency situations.

The only complaint I have read here on is that they had an insurance goof. The office charged for something the insurance would not cover and the family refused to pay because they thought they should have been given the option to do the procedure or not. They could not really afford the cost. I think it was a flossing class of some sort. He always flosses the kids teeth and we have never been charged for it. We do have Sooner Care though, we are raising 2 of my grandkids and they qualify for Sooner Care based on their parents income, but we do live on SSDI so our income is limited too.

I would make sure your insurance provider is one he takes and then make the appointment soon. He is always full so they may have to work you in but I think it is worth it.

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answers from Tuscaloosa on

It is typical, because baby teeth, especially the molars, can be very grooved and food can get stuck in there. I was devastated as well when my 4 year-old got one in his molar. Our dentist here recommend to wait and see if it stays the same or starts to spread. If it spreads, he'll need a filling. If not, it will fall out with his baby tooth.

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answers from Houston on

my 2nd daughter was the same way, we take good care of her teeth,kept away sugary snacks even brushed her gums before the teeth came in. She had 6 milk carries by age 2, my dentist told me it might have been a fever that she had when the teeth were growing in. Well we gave her stuff that made her loopy and they capped them, half silver- half porcelain, i wanted all porcelain but they said they didnt do that for babies because the teeth are still growing and will fall out later. You cant see the silver unless shes laughing and laying down, so its no biggie. I was really nervous about having dental work done for a baby under two, so i waited till 1 month after that age. We dont have insurance so it was around 1700 dollars. Some cavities can be airbrushed away, but hers were too deep, it effected the entire enamel, it was all just soft.

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answers from Scranton on

they are typical if they sleep with a cup/bottle. bottle rot is what they call it.

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answers from Dallas on

Did you know that caregivers can & do transmit the bacteria that is tooth-decay by sharing?? That means if YOU have a cavity that is untreated / undiagnosed you could unknowingly transmit it to your child.
•Lower the risk of the baby’s infection with decay-causing bacteria. This can be done two ways – by improving the oral health of the mother/caregiver which reduces the number of bacteria in her mouth and by NOT SHARING saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers and giving them to babies.

Most parents & caregivers are unaware of this.
I work in Pediatric Dentistry and we commonly see your story - brush 2x a day, low sugar diet, etc. Upon interview with the parents we often find that one parent has an underlying issue that may contribute.

And YES, being that your child is so young the cavity will have to be fixed. Decay is live bacteria - it does not cease to grow, it continues and will make the cavity larger with time.
If it is a molar your son will have those (primary) teeth until he is 11-13.
If it is a front tooth he will begin losing them at 5-6.
Either way, that's too long to wait.

Sedation is offered by PEDIATRIC dentists. Nitrous (laughing gas), a happy cocktail (light sedative that perscribed prior to treatment) & finally hospital sedation for severe cases.
Good luck.



answers from Hattiesburg on

My daughter who turned two in Dec. went to a pediatric dentist a couple weeks ago. We brush her teeth everyday and she's never went to sleep with a bottle or juice in bed. The dentist said she has 2-3 cavities devoloping in the front of her teeth. He gave us a floride toothpaste to brush with before bed every night. We go back to see him the middle of next month. He will then decide if she will get put to sleep (like getting tubes in ears) to fill the cavities. I'm praying the floride toothpaste has a dramatic effect and heels them! We will see!

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