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Live webchat with dentist Dr Anthony Zybutz, Monday 8 Sept, 1-2pm(116 Posts)
Hi, we've got Dr Anthony Zybutz coming in on Monday 8 Sept to talk all things teeth. So if you've got any concerns about your kids' oral health or want to know how to stop the rot in your own teeth, come and join in between 1pm and 2pm. Dr Zybutz, who is an experienced dentist with a practice in Harley St, has two children of his own, aged four and six, so is familiar with the challenge of ensuring children clean their teeth properly.
As always, if you can't make it on the day, please post your questions here in advance and we'll try to ensure as many as possible are answered.
Bet you can't see him on the NHS.
I'll be 1st.
my 9yr old is a nightmare at toothbrushing, he'd rather stick pins in his eyes TBh.
All of his younger brothers are better...including our 20month old!!!
Is there any snippet you can give me to persuede him that manky teeth is not good.
I've even resorted to showing him hideous photos of tooth decay but he still faffs and whinges and moans.
Sorry, forget to add thsi question.
How long does tooth decay take to appear?
If I could tell him that in X amount of time you'll have painful holes it might help.
I've got one, it's very dull though. Poor old Dr Zybutz must have been asked a million times.
I have two thumb suckers, age 3 and 4. They only really thumb suck at night, but if you go into their bedrooms, their thumbs are always firmly lodged in situ. They both have a slightly protruding upper front tooth because of this.
Am I going to have hideous orthododntic bills in the future? Do I only need to worry if they continue thumb sucking when their adult teeth come through? Do I need to start investing in that revolting dandelion tasting nail polish? Or can I just chill?
I'm not going to be here between 1-2, am taking my baby for her first day at school
but thank you for your reply in advance.
Good question Slubber -I have the same worry about my DS whos is also a night time only thumbsucker (aged 4).
I would like to add a question:
How much flouride should a childs toothpaste contain?
I've been told by our dentist that it should be around 400-500 ppmF but its actually really difficult to find a childs toothpaste as low as that. A lot of them contain over double that amount which, as I understand it, is not needed in the UK and can actually damage adult teeth as/before they come through.
I have a question - my 6 year old son has had brown stains on his teeth since he was 12 months old one of them has seemingly eroded a little. The only thing i can think of is that he had alot of antibiotics at 10 months could this be related? He was breast fed until 14 months and brushes his teeth, doesn't have fizzy pop, sweets etc yet hes just needed 4 filings?! Also my 4 year old son needs filings and in his case too i do everything to look after his teeth could it be genetic?
Meant to add that his paternal grandmother also had/has dental problems so could it be inhereted? Will there adult teeth be affected?
Hello - I don't know if dr Zybutz can help.
I have had a lot of work, crowns and root fillings since about 8 years ago when I found I had damaged my teeth with a bad diet.
I am concerned that this may have made my body more prone to infection as a whole - have had recurring mastitis etc.
I have heard that having the teeth removed and dentures fitted will often solve this and make you much healthier - but is this true or is it best to hold onto my own teeth as long as possible?
Also I find an electric brush is liable to shift the fillings already there so avoid using one..not sure if this is right?
I would love implants but can't afford them.
Thankyou so much.
two questions/issues, if i may
DS only really chews his toothbrush (he is 2.2 years old) and he can sometimes be co-operative and let us have a brush or sometimes his mouth is clamped firmly shut! Is this bad? How can i teach him to brush rather than chew?
also, i have super sensitive teeth and have had loads of issues culminating in a double osteotomy on my jaw, but even after that i still have a very poor bite and over bite. Is this something which can be inherited? I don't want DS to have the same issues
Also, (oh this is a third thing) which is better a manual or electric toothbrush? I have a tendency to over brush as well
Thanks so much
I have an infection between the roots of one of my molars - my dentist wants to take the tooth out, but I'm resisting. Surely it should be able to be sorted out as the problem is not with the tooth but in the gum? A course of antibiotics didn't shift it. Has been infected for more than a year now.
<<Bramshott slinks off to think of other, more generally useful, less self-centered questions to post!>>
Repeat of Rubyslippers question really.
Dd 20months chews her brush and rarely allows me to clean her teeth, it's a real stressful battle. My Ds was the same and has only in recent weeks realised that cleaning them properly has it's rewards and he's now 10. Is there any way I can persuade Dd to let me clean her teeth please?
My children don't have any fillings. Visits to the denist are a joy for the whole family. Should I take a lover?
no us neither
and i only have two
its me icod
cod don't you mean underbite? (desperate dan)
I think Cod means gumby-jaw. Like Buzz Lightyear..... to Dr Zybutz and beyoooooond.
Dr Z - I'd like to have my teeth whitened but I know dazzling white is a bit WAGS. Do you think Farrow&Ball's House White will be right for me?
Well, I was about to post that these were all lovely, sensible suggestions.... but....
I have one please.......
Is toothpaste REALLY necessary?
I read somewhere that it isn't at all, it is just some wierd thing that we like to use to make our mouths FEEL fresh.
<Trills> Underbite, Overbite, Wombling free......
MY ds age 2 half will not go in the room with the dentist. Hs is terrified. Tried twice - no joy. My elder son age 4 goes first and will sit in the chair etc. Tried bribery.
Any tips on how to get him to like the dentist. Also when should little ones go to the dentist ? thanks
I have a few questions actually, but feel free to pick and choose which ones you answer.
Since having children, my sense of smell and taste has become very strong, I am sure of this, and as a result if something is too strong it will give me a headache or make me feel sick. Sadly toothpaste is one of those things.
Is there any toothpaste out there that isnt too strong but still makes your mouth feel clean?
I also have staining on my teeth, are there any home products that you would recommend to whiten them?
My NHS dentist is talking £300 to whiten them for me.
Last question, I promise
I had to wear a brace when I was younger as I had a gap at the top of my teeth and my bottom front two teeth crossed over each other.
The brace worked but when it was taken off, eventually the bottom two crossed again.
I have npticed now that my dd's and ds's are doing exactly the same. Same teeth.
Can that be hereditory or is it just coincidence? They only have their baby teeth atm but whats the chances that their adult teeth will do the same?
I have a question. Or maybe three.
Do children need to learn how to floss and at what age?
What is the deal with British vs American teeth? Is it a bit of a myth or down to decent dental plans? I have seen some pretty rank sets of gnashers on Jerry Springer.
That may have been more than three.
I have a question -
in your opinion is there a benefit to continuity of care with dentistry - or does it really not matter if you see a new dentist each time.
Perfect timing. My son gets persistant and nasty mouth ulcers whenever he uses grown-up toothpaste. He's now 8. I've heard that there is a direct connection between ulcers and sodium lauryl sulphate so I've tried to find him a toothpaste without this in, but the only ones he likes are the kiddie ones.
Is there really a connection or is it just coincidence? What brands can you recommend that don't have it in?
Actually I have another question.
DO you think that Dental health services should be FREE?
And by that I mean publically funded and not privately owned and free at the point of delivery, much like the rest of the nhs.
The number of people who cannot find nhs dentists is unacceptably high and has increased recently with the introduction of new contracts, and it seems that more dental practices are choosing to go entirely private. Leaving major gaps in provision, the worst affected being the poorest.
I agree Slur.
I am a single mother and have needed a lot of work on my teeth - not cosmetically at all but acute/chronic problems.
I do receive benefit due to my situation so the costs are covered. If I worked I would not be able to have my teeth sorted out and this is I am ashamed to admit, a factor in my decision to stay at home rather than work.
I would not care if it was cosmetic but it is not, I would be in a lot of pain. Also it is too late for me to make a differrence with my oral hygiene etc as the damage was done years ago.
My 20 month old DS2 has yellow stains (plaque build up?)on his teeth. We brush them night and day and sometimes lunchtime and are pretty throrough, tho he has a knack of holding his lips really tight so getting to the front top and bottom is a struggle. He doesn't have juice/milk bottles to suck on but he does like raisins.
His doctor & dentist just says keep on brushing, but should we worry or do something more? Don't want him to have stumps for teeth at kindergarden...?
We brushed DS1 the same as a baby but his are fine.
what are your thoughts on whitening? (not luminous white obviously!)
I'm getting on a bit and don't really want my teeth like the dear old late Queen Mums, ie resembling wood!
I was so busy brushing teeth that I didn't notice plaque build up behing the front 4 teeth. Now I am scared of taking her to dentist as I know I will get told off!
Huge guilt trip, teeth are so hard to do right. Anyone know how they get it off childrens teeth?
My health visitors are now recommending that we use adult toothpaste on babies and toddlers teeth. I thought the increased fluoride in adult toothpaste was supposed to increase the risk of fluorosis in children. If this is still the case why are parents being advised not to use specialist children's toothpaste any more?
can I just say
"I'VE GOT A DENTIST!!!!"
so I don't need you, but thanks all the same.
(I should point out at this stage that it has only taken five years, dozens of phone calls to NHS direct, and ringing round local dentists and seven months on a waiting list before we were finally seen... last week! )
<<<flashes toothy grin>>>
My question (not that surprisingly) is what would you suggest that people who are in the situation that I was in the week before last do to try and find a dentist? Is there likely to be an increase in the numbers of dentists taking on patients in the near future?
My dentist says that I need my fillings removed and replaced. New ones will cost about £70-£120 per tooth on the NHS. I was a little shocked at this as it's never been mentioned before and now he says I have to have all my fillings replaced. (I have quite a few due to an overzealous dentist I had as a child)Any advice?
Also I've been told that I no longer need to take antibiotics before invasive dental treatment as advice has changed. Can you confirm this? I used to take them due to a heart condition.
my 10 year old son had beautiful milk teeth but as his adult teeth are appearing they are much more yellow and also appear to be stained with white bits - when i questioned my dentist he said it might be fluorosis and that i must have added flouride to his diet when he was younger but i havent we are very careful with his diet (no fizz choc just a couple times a week ec) he brushes twice a day etc etc and he has no filings
i am starting to see these same stains on the back milk teeth of my 2 year old daughter
is this a family hereditry thing ? is there anything i can do to prevent this happening to my daughters adult teeth before they appear ? my son is becoming very self concious about his yellow teeth - would you recommend whitening?
thanks for your help
my daughters bottom front 2 milk teeth are not very wobbly yet, but the new ones have grown behind them to almost the same height. Is this normal? should she have the mik teeth taken out?
My nearly 3 year old daughter has a cavity in one of her lower molars. I have always been really careful to brush her teeth twice a day, limit sweets, fruit juice, etc.
The dentist said she had 'weak enamel'. Is there anything I can do to stop her having more problems? Thank you.
Hi, I've got a couple of queries concerning my three year old son as there is absoloutely no way he would let a dentist get anywhere near him.
Just one of his upper teeth seems to be really stained yellow, as if there are food deposits on it, no matter how much I brush it - it's a bit strange and can't work out why. I was a bit undecided on the the fluoride/fluoride free toothpaste debate, ended up using fluroide free until recently. (Not sure if that's anything to do with it). I don't give him any sugar but everyday he has fruit and organix snacks - a lot of these are fruit based or sweetened with fruit and wondered how much impact this would have on his teeth as I recently heard that a dentist told a friend that eating too much fruit is bad for teeth.
Also, a question of curiousity more than anything else, with regards to looking after teeth, how much does it matter when it's the first set of teeth which are all going to fall out anyway? How much impact does it have on the 2nd lot?
Finally - sorry - at what age do normal routine check ups start with kids?
Fissure Sealants - I think they're good. My dentist sealed 6 unfilled teeth when I was about 13-14. I have only had 1 filling on these sealed teeth.
Should I get my childrens teeth sealed?
Should I do it once their 2nd teeth are through?
I, of course, think that good dental hygiene goes hand in hand with this.
Should we be flossing childrens teeth too?
My 14 month old daughter resists having her teeth cleaned. I am worried to see that her two front teeth are already looking stained already, but she clamps her mouth firmly shut and it is a real battle to clean them.
I try to make it as entertaining as possible (singing toothbrushing songs, getting dad to open his mouth and make brushing motions etc) but it is still a struggle. She doesn't drink friut juice, though she does have fruit - though not citrus which she dislikes, so I can only think that it is tomatoes that are staining her teeth (she loves spaghetti dishes).
Do you have any tips for getting toddlies to brush their teeth and at what point should they visit a dentist for the first time?
Margo- my teeth were fissure sealed. When I changed dentists at 17, the new one ripped them all out, and filled with amalgam saying they'd all been done incorrectly
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
I had NO fillings at all until then, I was devastated.
The only fillings I've had since were to replace the crappy amalgam ones as they don't last forever.
1. what can i do about TMJ pain/clicking? have a bite raiser but take it out in my sleep. anything else i can try?
2. if a thumb sucker also has genetically sticky out front teeth will the NHS pay for braces? also if no sign of ever stopping sucking thumb would braces work anyway?
3.is flossing really necessary?
Why do Geography teachers have hallitosis, more often than not?
During my last pregnancy I bashed my teeth together, crossing them over at the front gap (if that makes sense) and it's pushed my one front tooth back. Will it ever go back on it's own?
When I was a toddler I tripped over and caught my tooth on the arm of a chair, it went through my bottom lip and ended up facing the back of my mouth (I looked like I had a gap between my teeth). I think it's the same tooth, is it related and should the fact it eventually went back give me hope it will again?
My 14 month old doesn't much like cleaning his teeth (we only try at night) and so most nights my or DP 'help' by gently cleaning them, which leads to screaming fits on his part. I'm worried we might be creating an issue making him hate cleaning his teeth / having them cleaned, my DP is more worried about his teeth rotting and thinks it's worth the struggle each night. Any recommendations?
The essence of my question is: how important is the level of cleanliness of teeth vs habit of him cleaning his teeth happily?
Question please and thanks as I will be traveliing at that time.
I've posted before about decay on my 2yo's teeth - she has discolouration around the gumline of all four top front teeth. Nothing on the molars or any other teeth.
My first dentist diagnosed it as baby bottle mouth and was very unhelpful so I transferred and she has now been seen twice by another dentist who has examined the teeth but is currently just monitoring them to make sure the damage does not increase. It does not seem to have changed in six months or more. This dentist suggests just regular rushing with a higher fluoride paste ( we moved to punch and judy 1000ppm)twice a day with an electric toothbrush and directly applying the paste to the damage at night.
I'd like to know if Dr. Zybutz agrees with this approach and would offer any advice. Our dentist has also mentioned that the enamel may mend itself over time, is that likely? I would also like his advice and opinion on what steps may be necessary to correct the decay at a later date and if anything can be done to cover the discolouration later on? I remember children at my school being bullied for stained teeth and while hers is not very noticeable if it could be covered I think it would help her when she's older.
As with other mums who have posted, teeth brushing is a battle, despite character brushes and paste, songs, games, star charts etc. Because of her problems I gently hold her arms and brush anyway. I am worried though that the teeth could be sensitive, is that likely and could I be hurting her by brushing? I don't see that I have many alternatives really but if the decay has made them sensitive she wouldn't be able to tell me clearly yet.It does sometimes seem that she yells more when I brush the teeth in question but it's hard to tell.
Fot background - she was and is breast fed, used to have juice but not since we noticed damage so now only drinks water or milk. She doesn't eat sweets and only occasionally biscuits or chocolate. Her father's family has always had problems with their teeth, I haven't and have no fillings as yet.
A question please.
My 8 year old fell and snapped his teeth at school, diagonal snaps (about a third of tooth heigt) on both adult front teeth.
We cannot get a dentist (not even taking for waiting lists here now), and the community dentist won't see him as he is not in pain (he is autistic in a mildish fahion, doesn't really do pain).
Is there likely to be any long term damage from the snaps? Or just cosmetic?
Hi. Another question - my 8 year old has overlapping teeth at the front where the new tooth came through but the old one did not fall out - so she just has 2 teeth, one in front of the other, where there should just be one.
It's been like this for 1.5-2 years now. Taken her to 2 dentists, 1 shortly after the second tooth came through and 1 a few months ago, who both said it was OK and the old one would just fall out naturally in due course.
But it's now coming up to 2 years and the old one isn't even properly wobbly! Very concerned about the state of the new tooth, as obviously food must get stuck in between the 2 teeth, and there is no way to clean between them. Surely we should have the old one pulled out! Please advise.
Second question. Same daughter's teeth are v yellow - she hates the taste of her toothpaste so uses it as little as possible or not at all (she hates mint, as do all my kids) - used strawberry flavours etc when she was younger, but can't find anything suitable for her age range. Can you recommend any other non-minty toothpastes?
Thirdly, is there anything you would recommend for kids who don't brush their teeth well enough/use enough toothpaste? eg think I have heard of some sort of painting their teeth with something fluoridey or something? Anything that can be done?
What do you think about fissure seals?
My daughter had a cavity in her molar at the age of 4. I was devostaed as I take oral hygiene very serious.
She *grindes teeth* during the night, could this have an effect?
Why is the general advice in the UK to brush teeth twice a day, wheras in Europe you are told to brush teeth after every meal?
(We learned at school in Switzerland 'everyday after every meal don't forget to brush your teeth')
Same as Ruby slippers (dd chewing toothbrush, clamping mouth shut and not letting me brush) but with 18 monyth old. thank you
1. Do milk teeth molars with decay (DS1 aged 9 has a really bad one: VERY hard to get him to brush his teeth properly, we've had some success with disclosing tablets recently...) need pulling, filling or leaving...? His teeth seem to come through very late and like me he has a very small jaw so they are very crowded. God knows when the molars will be replaced? I don't want him to get an infected jaw etc if it's really bad. Can't get into our NHS dentist until end Sept... any advice welcome.
2. I have a private dentist (VERY bad teeth, VERY phobic, need someone who takes lots of time and knows how to deal with my anxiety).
But I worry she tells me I need things I don't just to keep the business ticking over.
What should I do? If I ask for a second opinion it's just gonna cost me more money isn't it. and she's going to be peed off.
We're over a barrel a bit aren't we? Like with builders, plumbers and car mechanics: once they're in, they can charge what they like...
3. I'm probably going to have to have a(nother) root canal on my shocking teeth. this time the very back one.
Am heart-stoppingly nervous about this. Because I've had two already, I know how long it takes, how much you have to have your mouth open, the rubber damp and clamps etc and it horrifies me.
My dentist has suggested sedation (assuming she means diazepam?)
I'm almost as terrified of this: isn't it awfully addictive?
Any other advice for very very nervous adult patient?
I was made to feel terrible by the dentist when I took my daughter in for the first time at the age of 5 (we had an absolute nightmare trying to get a dentist due to lack of NHS places, the stupid surgery that we finally got a place with who accused me of lying when THEY had told me the wrong date for our appointment so I left in tears and was too ashamed to go back, plus I have ADHD so I struggle with things like getting a NHS dentist which require a superhuman level of organisation and persistance) and she had very worn enamel and holes in her back teeth. The thing is, I have always been very strict about toothbrushing (they're both rather "dopey" so they take ages and I have to stand over them to make sure they don't just sit and chew their toothbrush for 10 minutes!) and they hardly eat any sweets (and eat generally very healthily), so I know I've done everything reasonable to ensure their teeth were looked after. She lectured me about feeding her lots of fruit & juice, even though she only eats 1 or 2 pieces of fruit a day and only has juice about once a day. My friend's daughter (the same age) brushes her teeth unsupervised for about 30 seconds, eats tons of fruit (she's a fussy eater so fruit is the only way she can get enough vitamins etc) and eats a lot more sweets and other unhealthy food, and yet has no problems at all with her teeth. It's so unfair! And my son doesn't really have trouble with his teeth either. I asked the dentist if it was possible she just had weak enamel but she didn't really give me an answer and just went on about limiting acid attacks to 5 times a day (which we already do - she doesn't really eat lots of between-meals snacks, usually it's just one after school and one at playtime at school).
I seem to just have really bad luck with dentists, I don't like this new dentist but after the hassle I've had trying to get a dentist at all I don't want to leave. I've got lots of anxiety issues with dentists after having lots of work on my overcrowded teeth as a kid (I hate injections, especially in my mouth, and I hate vibrations in my mouth, so dental work is pretty traumatic for me). I haven't even seen the dentist in about 8 years and I'm terrified to go back because I know I'll need fillings. But both of the dentists we've dealt with since then have treated me very unsympathetically and like I'm some kind of terrible parent who doesn't care about my kids' dental health. I'm on income support so I can't afford to go private (I'm aware there are some private surgeries who specialise in work with anxious patients, if I could afford it I'd definately go to them!).
Sorry for the rant, as you can probably tell this is something that really upsets me. I feel so powerless in the face of this ridiculous NHS dentistry fiasco where a child with bad teeth can't get a decent dentist. I just don't get why it can't be like GPs, where you can walk into pretty much any surgery and register on the spot. The current system is horrible and stressful, and I'm sure there are lots of other people out there who are in a similar situation or worse. Anxiety about dentists is so common that there must be other people who've found the whole process twice as traumatic because the whole idea of dentists is anxiety-inducing in itself!
Sorry, rant over.
i have tetracyclene staining and dentists say there is no way of whitening them.Is this true or do you now of a proceedure? tia
My lovely dentist says toothpaste marketed at children is far too low in fluoride and he has seen a great increase in decay in the young. We've switched to small amount of an adult toothpaste for our children. How can this product be marketed without a warning?
Sorry if I'm repeating something someone else has asked but are electric toothbrushes okay for all ages, or should you not use them on young children? If not, why not?
Oh, please, please [waves hand in air frantically, having only just seen this], I have 2 questions:
1. Ds1 (7) has several hyper-plastic (sp?) baby molars, so they are an unpleasant dull brown colour and the enamel is not in good condition. What is the chance of his big teeth coming through in the same way? And is there any real evidence that antibiotics caused this (both he and I had antibiotics when he was a baby and in pregnancy), or has he just been unlucky?
2. Ds2 (3) has just had his front 2 baby teeth removed after cracking one on the side of a pool. (I am devastated, but that's a whole other thread) Will he need follow-up dental work to make sure his big teeth come through straight? Our dentist said he had not rammed the broken tooth up into the tooth bed, so that at least is good news.
Many, many thanks if you can help with these.
Fluoride. I can understand that fluoridation of water is extreme and controversial. But why aren't supplements encouraged here as they are in other countries, often to great benefit?
my 3.8 year old is grinding her teeth at night - will this cause problems?
also maybe a really silly question but her eye teeth have lost their pointyness - does this mean her teeth are soft and when her big teeth come through they will be soft too?
Oh I have one!
My DD (4.5) has recently changed dentist, and she says the enamel on her back teeth is not properly formed, through illness - is this common?
We are using a flouride paste and have has it sealed even though it's a baby tooth, is this a good idea?
Oh and another!!
I recently at great expense had a front tooth capped (£800!) the cap snapped after 6 months, and the dentist replaced it. However as soon as it was replaced (which really hurt) the tooth became really sensitive and pushes forward slightly when I bite, its now settling down. He says either
a) I've started grinding my teeth, and it's my fault, and/or
b) Its now dying and need root canal work.
I'm terrified of him doing the work - he made me cry with pain last time, but don't want to shell out hundreds more for another dentist.
I have a question please.
My 5 year old son, who is autistic, has some spots of decay on his baby teeth, one of which is described as a 'lesion'. Two spots were noticed by the school dentist about five months ago. At that time I wasn't using a fluoride toothpaste on his teeth and he was drinking very watered down pear juice between meals as well as at meal times, and having a number of biscuits between meals. After talking to the dentist I switched to a fluoride toothpaste (Kingfisher) and have limited his juice drinks so that he has them with food only. He has to have watered down juice as he takes a great number of supplements which he can taste in water. I've also started using an electric toothbrush on his teeth. It's difficult to brush them for long, but we do manage twice a day for about a minute each time.
Despite this new regime, three more spots of decay have appeared, two of which are on back molars. Am I still doing something wrong?
ds is 18 months old and reluctant to brush. He'll chew on his toothbrush and allow dh to brush a little (with MUCH persuasion, distraction etc etc.), but we're talking 30? seconds - our dentist said we need to aim towards 2 mins.
Now, our dentist does not yet have children. Is he being unrealistic or do we have to be more forceful with ds? We don't want it to get into a really negative battly type experience..
What do you think is a reasonable guideline for the length of time you should spend brushing at this age.. and (how much) does it go up with age?
My DD2 is nearly 3. She fell at about 18mnth old and chipped her front top tooth. It has turned yellow and the one next to it is starting to go the same way, despite brushing regularly.
Our own dentist said it was due to weak enamel, and there are signs of the same on her back teeth, but there is nothing that he would or could do for her.
Im terrified of her going to school and having the mick taken for discoloured teeth when we seem to be doing all we can.
Is there any sort of solution?!
Hiya, we're really pleased to welcome Dr Zybutz to Mumsnet. You've posted loads of questions already, so we'll hand over and hope he can get through as many of your queries as possible in the next hour.
Hi Ladytophamhatt. Thanks for being the first to post a question. I think the most important thing I can recommend is to avoid scare tactics. I find that children just dont respond to them. It will be much more effective to encourage him with positive reinforcement and find ways to make brushing enjoyable than to threaten him with pictures of rotten teeth. Because he cant really understand what that would be like, its probably not having any effect other than to make him feel negatively about the entire brushing experience.
Because he is getting to an age where his autonomy is important, why not start by allowing him to make some grown up decisions about his oral health. Let him pick out his own themed electric toothbrush and his own toothpaste (make sure it is for children) perhaps even introduce a product that makes him feel more grown up, like childrens mouthwash. There is a great new all-in-one product called Smart Rinse from Listerine that is available at all pharmacies.
He needs to feel that hes cleaning his teeth because he wants to, not because you are coercing him to!
Dr Zybutz do you recommend after having fixed train tack braces to have the wire permenantly fitted behind the teeth?
This is for my 13 year old son
Or do you recommend something else?
Happychic, children should visit a dentist within a few months of the time their first primary teeth break through. Certainly by the time the child is 12 months old a dentist should have a chance to assess tooth development and advise on proper oral care that is tailored to your childs needs.
Hi RubySlippers. I find that children like to mimic, so I would suggest that you teach by example. Brush your teeth with your child so he can see how you do it and copy you. This also helps reluctant brushers as it conveys the message that brushing is something fun that we do together, rather than something that the child must succumb to.
MummyC, you ask an important question about habits. I think the main reason you are having difficulty is because you are only brushing at night and perhaps not enforcing that teeth-cleaning is a normal part of your childs daily routine. As mentioned to RubySlippers, try brushing your teeth together and make sure your 14 month old likes the toothpaste. Children should become accustomed to cleaning their teeth at least twice a day. The earlier this becomes routine, the better as this will help them form good habits from an early age. There may be screaming matches at first, dont let this deter you from keeping to a schedule. All that will subside when, like getting dressed and napping and bathing, children learn that brushing is simply part of their everyday routine.
Hi Carolt, like many mums it seems you are concerned that even though your children are brushing, they may not doing quite a good enough job yet.
Indeed, there are things you can do to help enhance your childs cleaning efforts. The first thing I would recommend is not allowing your children to rinse with water after brushing. This washes away the good fluoride that toothpaste has deposited on their teeth. If they are going to rinse, best to do so with a childrens mouthwash that contains fluoride. Proper rinsing will also help to dislodge any left-behind food particles or plaque that has broken free of the teeth during brushing.
Starlight, toothpaste is absolutely essential. In addition to containing fluoride, which strengthens and protects teeth against decay, it also helps to clean the teeth.
Hi MARGO. Flossing is very important as it gets to trapped food particles between teeth and at the gumline. Although you may find it difficult to floss your young childs teeth for them, it is a good idea to show them how to floss and let them pretend to floss with you. This way, flossing becomes something they are familiar with. When they get old enough and dexterous enough to do it properly, they will see it as part of a complete oral care routine. In addition to regular visits to the dentist, flossing is an important part of a daily 3-step routine - brush, floss and rinse -which children should get used to from a young age.
Slubber, Im afraid you are facing a difficult battle. Thumbsucking is not an easy habit to break, especially if your children are over the age of 2. A good rule of thumb (no pun intended) is to try and take the dummie/ pacifier away as soon as possible in order to wean them away from a sucking habit. If the thumbsucking (dummie/pacificer) stops before the age of six, the teeth should go back to their right position without orthodontics. Nevertheless, it's best to break the habit as soon as possible.
Nbg, regarding home whitening products, the only way to safely and predictably whiten your teeth is to see your dentist. OTC products rarely work and can be damaging to teeth, gums and your jaw.
FlightAttendent, definitely use an electric toothbrush and see your dentist/hygenist on a regular basis.
Peachy, you should go and visit a dentist as there could be long term damage.
DanJarMouse, I think you should definitely see a specialist child dentist (paedodontist). As it is difficult to tell from your question if there is a serious issue that needs addressing.
RTKangaMummy, I would absolutely recommend a fixed retainer behind the teeth after the train track braces are removed. This ensures that the teeth stay in their desired position. It does however make cleaning slighlty more difficult, hence be sure to follow the 3-step oral care routine of brush twice daily, floss and rinse.
Snamfa, as your son is only 8, he should not be using a grown up toothpaste. It isn't confirmed that sodium lauryl sulphate is a cause of mouth ulcers. I advise you to see your dentist when your son has mouth ulcers to help the dentist diagnose the cause and provide appropriate treatment.
Hi Wilbur and PastYourBedtime.
It is true that certain antibiotics have been shown to cause problems in developing teeth specifically Tetracycline. Most doctors now know this and avoid prescribing Tetracycline for young children, but if your child has darkened lines across his teeth, this could be the reason.
If your children are showing signs of decay at a young age, then it would suggest you need to take extra care when cleaning teeth. Again, all children have different needs some dont have to brush very diligently to have healthy teeth, others need to try harder. Do consult your dentist, but I imagine he would suggest you take extra measures to ensure your children are cleaning thoroughly.
Learning proper brushing technique, using an egg timer to ensure children are brushing for two-minutes each time and adding a fluoridated mouthwash to the equation will all help.
Hi Werewabbit and Tinkywinks, without seeing your childs teeth its hard to say if the staining is due to plaque buildup, so I would ask your dentist.
You do not need to brush your child's teeth three times daily and definitely should not brush the teeth within one hour of eating as this could accelerate acid errosion.
A lot of mums think they are doing well to give their children fruit in place of sugary snacks, but too much fruit can be very bad for teeth. Avoid dried fruits in particular as these have lots of concentrated sugar and when feeding your kids fruit juices, dilute them with water by at least a 50/50 ratio.
I cant be sure that these yellow stains have anything to do with the fruit, but suggest visiting your dentist for a proper assessment.
For additional excellent information on children's diet and tooth decay, see the appropriate section on Mumsnet.
Hi Dr Zybutz
Please answer my question! I'd really like to know what you think about sealing children's teeth.
Is it a good idea? How does it help (if it does)?
Ruthhaasbb and My2 -
In regards to how many times a day to brush your teeth, as I told Werewabbit and Tinkywinks, you do not need to brush your child's teeth three times daily and definitely should not brush the teeth within one hour of eating as this could accelerate acid errosion. A good idea is for your children to rinse out with water after lunch at school.
At a very young age, tooth grinding, although sounds horrible, is not significant. The loss of tooth structure is possibly due to an acidic diet (lots of fruit juice?), grinding and excessive brushing. Make sure your kids are using a children's fluoride-containing toothpaste and a kid-friendly mouthwash.
Hi Rainbowfish. I hope your dentist has a good manner with children, as that will help! Just one question have you ever tried sitting in the waiting room while your son goes in without you? I find that some children feed off of their parents presence and only experience anxiety when mum is there to rescue them, but when mum is taken out of the equation I tend to get on very well with most of my little patients.
Hi Porpoise and MARGO. Sealing the teeth is an excellent idea as this helps protect the more vulnerable areas of the teeth from decay. This is especially important for newly erupted permanent back teeth.
watching with baited breath to see if questions answered...
Babyboo1and2, the white bits on adult teeth in this case sound like normally occuring opacities which are not clinically significant. If it is an aesthetic problem, a cosmetic dentist can help.
Permanent teeth naturally appear yellower due to the increased amount of dentine.
Fluorosis results from an excessive fluoride intake, which does not seem to have been caused by your diet.
This also does not sound like an hereditary cause of discolouration. However, it might be best to check with a paedodontist.
I would not consider dentist-supervised whitening for your kids until 16 years old.
was I too rude with my charging cmments?
wasn't meaning to be, honest.
Really would like to know whether a decayed molar in a 9 y o should be pulled or left if it is beyond further treatment...
there seems to be so much conflicting advice from different dentists - the latest thing I've heard is to clean teeth before breakfast not afterwards . - something to do with not cleaning your teeth too soon after juice and fruit as it attacks enamel. So all those years of making sure they clean their teeth before school has been not just a waste but harmful. Is that really the case - and is it really better not to brush at all, than to brush too soon?
It's almost 2pm, so Dr Zybutz's slot is nearly up. Thanks to him for coming on and thanks to everyone who posted questions and joined in.
My 4 yer old DD has just had a large first molar extracted s the damage wastoo extensive to fill and there was a lare area of infection underneath. The letter to our dentist from the paediatric dentist says that the enamel on this particular tooth was very thin - hypoplastic was I think the expression taht he used - and that there is no evidence of this on any of her other teeth. How can this happen?
Wilfsell, the first thing is to see a dentist as soon as possible even if that means paying privately. The large cavity can lead to abscess in the jaw causing pain and problems with the future teeth.
How to treat milk teeth will always depend on the severity of the decay, but it is essential to try and keep the teeth in place bearing in mind that this is not always possible. Remember prevention is better than cure.
The milk teeth are extremely important as they guide the permanent teeth into place. It is essential that you institute an oral hygiene routine, which should consist of brusing twice daily, flossing and rinsing with a child-friendly mouthwash. Bacteria left in the mouth can lead to cavities, tartar build up and even gum disease, so it is important that teeth are cleaned effectively.
Diet is also an important factor and there are some excellent tips on Mumsnet with regards to diet and dental health.
Hi Carolt, in reference to your other question regarding minty toothpaste, I suggest letting your eight year old use children's strawberry toothpaste. If you are concerned this isn't providing enough flouride, then I'd recommend supplementing it with a berry flavored all-in-one mouthwash such as Listerine Smart Rinse.
Thanks. We do the brush, floss, mouthwash thing now, but was very difficult when he was younger. The molar has already been treated with something temporary but fear it will be more drastic at the next appt in a few weeks time.
Thanks for the advice anyway.
Can children younger than 6 use mouthwash?
Just wondering if you are being sponsered by Listerine Smart Rinse? There are quite a few plugs for it.
Thanks again to Dr Zybutz and for cramming in a few more answers.
Thanks to everyone who came to chat today. I really appreciate the excellent questions that were proposed and I hope that I managed to answer most of them. As a reminder, my best advice is to go for prevention.
Before I sign-off, remember the routine:
*Brush twice daily with an age appropriate toothpaste
*Start flossing as soon as you can
*Rinse with a child appropriate anti-bacterial fluoride-containing mouthwash. Remember this is only advised for children older than six to prevent swallowing.
*Visit your dentist and dental hygienist on a regular basis
Oh, I hadn't thought of an eletric toothbrush!
I'll take him to get one after school...can you all just hope the younger ones don't fight over it!!
That's your lot, folks. And, yes, the chat was sponsored by Listerine Smart Rinse, but Dr Zybutz's advice is independent.
Sorry, that sounded way more snarky than I intended.
I don't mind being sold a product, fully understand that the money to pay for a consultation needs to come from somewhere, I just like to know these things so I can make a correctly informed decision.
sorry, really sceptical, but it's the first time have seen a dentist recommend mouthwash for children....
Dinny, couldn't agree more! Is this Smart Rinse m/w alcohol free?
I am very of ANY dentist recc Listerine, actually! They usually don't like it as it is very strong stuff with a high alcohol content which can burn the mouth.
Also, I would not give my child anything that had this on it...
Keep out of reach of children. If more than used for rinsing is swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.
OK, on reading up about it, seems it is alcohol free. Still concerned re warning tho!
I mean, when MN says this chat is sponsored by Listerine, presumably that means the dentist was paid by Listerine to participate?
Hi - yes Listerine suggested Dr Anthony Zybutz for the webchat and are, I assume, paying him. He seems to have done a fair bit of media work generally - so he would be a natural choice I guess.
Out of interest we product tested Smart Rinse on MN recently and it seemed to be pretty popular - 75% of testers said they'd recommend it. (My boy loves it and he's a pretty reluctant teeth cleaner but less so now he can have mouthwash afterwards... god listen to me, they should PAY ME )
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