I have a tive-year-old daughter whose teeth are practically rotting. She has back teeth with extensive decay as well as cavities on several other teeth. I promise you I am brushing her teeth twice a day. I don’t know what is causing this much extensive decay. Can you give me any guidance as to what to do from here with her? Also, the teeth with extensive decay, do they need to be removed? They are just baby teeth, so that is probably better.
I can tell by your questions you are a loving mother who cares about her children very much. The type of decay you are talking about with your daughter is usually a result of frequent snacking and drinking. The saliva in our mouths is one of our best cavity-fighting tools we have. It contains bacteria-fighting minerals which will help break down foods and strengthen their teeth. If your daughter is snacking a lot, that doesn’t give her mouth time to fight anything.
You may have to show some tough love here. If you keep her from snacking and drinking sugary drinks throughout the day, it will only help her mouth’s ability to fight decay. Water is fine, but if she’s drinking juice or soda, limit that to just at mealtime. I would also continue brushing her teeth for a while until this is under control.
When Is It Okay to Remove Decayed Baby Teeth?
Because she needs her teeth to eat, it is helpful to save as many teeth as possible. That may mean some teeth need a dental crown. These are usually silver for children and prefabricated. An infected tooth can be extracted. However, there is one exception to that. When a tooth is a back tooth, it really needs to stay in place until their twelve-year-old molars begin to come in.
If her back teeth are extracted prematurely the other teeth will shift into that position. When that happens, it causes crowding. You want to avoid that unless you just like paying thousands of dollars for orthodontics. With her back teeth, you should try to do a pulpotomy first, which is simply a child’s version of a root canal treatment. If the tooth is just too far gone to save and must be extracted, then your pediatric dentist can place a space maintainer there to hold open the space for her year twelve molars.
This blog is brought to you by Fountain Valley Dentist Dr. Tammy Tran.