I am concerned about my daughter. She is only five years old but has quite a bit of decay. I do brush her teeth and take her to the dentist. He has diagnosed her with seven cavities, but she is very uncooperative in the dental chair. We’ve tried with me in the room with her and without me with her. Nothing seems to work. I don’t know how to get this under control and I’m afraid her teeth are going to be destroyed. Help!
I can tell you are a caring mother. I want you to take a deep breath and know that this can be solved. It’s not unusual for a young child to be uncooperative at the dentist. All those instruments can be scary and I am certain her mouth is tender from all that decay.
When a child is fearful or needs that much work, I will suggest you try dental sedation. Sometimes even just some nitrous oxide is all it takes to get them to calm down and allow the dentist to work. In fact, many children will sleep through their procedures.
Depending on her level of anxiety, she may need something stronger than nitrous. That’s okay too. Oral conscious sedation is an option as well. The biggest difference there is the lingering effect of the medicine.
With nitrous, once the procedure is over the dentist will switch the gas over to oxygen and she’ll be back to her bubbly self in just a few moments. With oral conscious sedation, she’ll be a bit groggy and unsteady on her feet for the remainder of the day.
Either way, it will allow her pediatric dentist to get all her needed work done and her oral health back on track.
That is a lot of decay for a child that age. I can tell you are devoted to your daughter and I do believe you when you say you are helping her brush every day. When that is the case, and there is this much decay, it is usually a sign the child is snacking too much or maybe drinking a lot of juice throughout the day.
Our saliva is an important deterrent in the battle against bacteria in our mouths. However, it needs time to work. When someone is snacking a lot or drinking anything but water throughout the day, there is too much sugar and bacteria for it to battle and our teeth begin to suffer.
You may have to try a little tough love for a while and not allow her to have any snacks between meals. This will give her body’s natural defenses the time needed to do their job.
Fillings in Children
One other area of note. I’m going to highly suggest you make sure your dentist is only placing mercury-free composite fillings in your daughter’s mouth. This is a much better long-term option for her teeth.
This blog is brought to you by Libertyville, IL Dentist Dr. David Potts.