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Massive guilt re 6 year old needing fillings. Help please

(24 Posts)
mine24 Thu 07-Oct-10 13:03:06

Help i feel so awful. I recently took my 6 year old to a new dentist and we were told he needs 3 fillings! Massive guilt feeling of course.
I took him for his dental appointment for the fillings and he got really upset and just would not have them done. I, wrongly with hindsight, got cross with him but he still wouldn't have them done.
He is booked in again in a couple of weeks time but really need advice on how to handle this.

NellyTheElephant Thu 07-Oct-10 13:11:15

I have no advice about how make him have them done (bribery?? go with him and buy some super fantastic toy he wants, put in cupboard and say it is a special present that he can have once his teeth have been done - let him look at it in all its boxed glory every so often?), but re the filling guilt try not to let it get to you..... hopefully they are on baby teeth? If it's any consolation I vividly remember having a filling at this age on one of my baby teeth. It's fair to say that it was not an enjoyable experience but let me assure you that I became a brilliant tooth brusher after that, have NEVER had a filling since and now have a full set of filling free adult teeth!!

mine24 Thu 07-Oct-10 13:17:44

You are lovely nelly. Bribery a good idea. i am just so desperate for him to have them done without to much distress.

WowOoo Thu 07-Oct-10 13:20:17

Call your dentist and ask for advice. They're the best people to ask.

Good luck.

knottyhair Thu 07-Oct-10 13:36:42

If the bribery doesn't work (hope it does!), my friend had a similar problem with her ds (very extreme reaction in the dentist's chair!), and they are referring her to a specialist paediatric dental clinic who will sedate her ds. Sounds extreme maybe but if he can't be persuaded by a special present, it may be something to ask about. Good luck.

arfasleep Thu 07-Oct-10 13:43:29

Have you 'played' dentists with him, try to do all things that dentist would do, with him sitting in chair. Maybe buy one of the little angled mirrors that dentist has. Could you tell him to imagine that a builder is doing some work on his teeth 'putting on the cement etc', silly idea but worth a try. Def ask at dentists, they'll be used to it.

Anenome Thu 07-Oct-10 14:25:12

My DD had a pain in her tooth last week and she is also 6...she had to have this hard drying paste on it as we had caught it early but the dentist sais it is very commmon at this age...dont feel bad.

I agree that bribery is best and don't give him ANY sweet foods till his appointment...tell him he will be allowed some once again as soon as hi filings are done...the loss of all swett stuff should galvanise him into having them done!

mine24 Thu 07-Oct-10 17:09:46

Thank you Anenome. Yes he would definately be motivated by the withdrawal of sweet things - good idea.

Giddyup Thu 07-Oct-10 17:54:57

My son (7) needed 2 fillings at 4,I feel like the worst mother in the world over it. He didn't have sweets or chocolate at that age, only drank water or milk and I always cleaned his teeth thoroughly. Apparently raisins are often to blame.

The fillings keep falling out, so he has to have them re-done every few months, we just have to hang on to them until they come out naturally ready for his adult set ... it's horrible. But, it has taught him to be extra vigilant with cleaning his teeth, hopefully that will be the flip side for your son too!

DS started to get really upset as recently they have had to drill to try and get the filling to stay in better, I had to resort to plenty of praise and bribery and I explained that it was down to him to make sure he doesn't get any more cavities

sarahtigh Fri 08-Oct-10 09:23:37

talk to the dentist in advance, often the receptionist/nurse will give you good advice, from experience treating small children it can be difficult but sometimes it maybe better if yuo dont stay in the surgery, whatever you feel inside make out its no big deal as kids pick up parents attitude or fears.

For some children they prefer no anaesthetic to getting injections and if not too deep thats fine

Also your reward must be talked about in advance once in surgery bribery does not work dont think I have ever seen a case when the promise of visit to toy shop while kid is in chair as ever had the slightest effect as the child is too worked up by do you normally make him do stuff he does not want to do. At 6 he can understand just the it hurts a bit now to feel better later. if you ask him exactly what is bothering him it can be just lots of things in mouth or the "sucky" thing to keep his mouth dry we are used to dealing with both scared kids and kids that are not scared but does dont want too!! a power struggle between parent and child

try the british dental association website

hope that helps

sarahtigh Fri 08-Oct-10 09:27:46

ps also ask about getting extra fluoride varnish ( called duraphat often) or fissure sealants within weeks of him getting first adult molars through

also frequency of sugar intake matters more than quantity a packet of raisins or chocolate drops all stuffed in at once after lunch will not cause any where near the damage as the same quantity eaten at rate of 1 every 20 minutes all afternoon

LilRedWG Fri 08-Oct-10 09:41:03

No advice re getting him back in the chair, but I just wanted to say that I had four fillings in my baby teeth but have none in my adults ones - I'm 36 and my dentist said he doubts I will ever need one.

Madascheese Fri 08-Oct-10 09:46:54

Poor the all of you.

Littlemad has decay in 2 teeth - likely to have to have the paste stuff in December, I'm phobic (that hasn't been helping) so now my lovely Dad takes him to the Dentist for me.

FWIW LM doesn't have many sweets etc, but it happens, don't beat yourself up.

After each visit LM gets a book or magazine, something small but he knows he'll get a treat.

Also playing Dentists does help.

sarahtigh Fri 08-Oct-10 17:04:38

madasacheese well done for getting your dad to take him

try pretending a long handled teaspoon is the mirror and take turns counting teeth,

mine24 sometimes children get scared because of stories they hear in playground or other adults etc, "the dentist had knee on my chest" type this can be really unhelpful to put it mildly and difficult to reassure as you dont know what might have been said

once I heard a mother say if you dont shut up I'll get dentist to take all your teeth out ... I imagine he is a model patient now not!!!

best of luck anyway

Madascheese Fri 08-Oct-10 17:16:32

Thank you Sarah, that was kind of you last time I actualy made it into the reception to wait for them afterwards Dad was astonished! [blush}.

I'm going to give the long handled spoon a try too but tbh I'll struggle with LM taking his turn.

CherryPie3 Fri 08-Oct-10 17:53:13

My daughter was 5 and we were told she needed 6 fillings my son was 3 and told he needed 4,

As seems to be the normal reaction I felt so bad for them, and also like I wasn't being the best mother for them.

ANd I wasn't the one feeding them sweets!! It was my mum, after school everyday my mum would take her a chocolate bar, or a pack of sweets. I take them asda fruit bags iof I get chance to pick them up (was working stupid full time hours, now on mat leave)

My dh's parents always bring them a huge party size bag of haribo for each of them, as well as sherbert and whatever else they saw in the shop - they probably only see dd and ds about 2 or 3 times a month but I've asked them repeatedly not to bring sweets angry the point

ds was an angel in the dentist chair and sat there good as gold, he had tears in his eyes but was fantasticly brave!!

dd however was not a happy chick at all and has been referred to a specialist childrens dentist, who is patronizing and crap!!
He told me I should cut down the amount of fruit she eats and only give her water to drink hmmconfused. Another (younger) dentist in the same place was brilliant with her and allowed her to hold some of the tools that he would be using to heal her teeth, I don't offer sweets as reward as to me that defeats the object. I let her sit in the front seat of the car or let her watch tv in her bedroom for an hour on a schoolnight.

I can't really offer magazines as she gets them anyway.

Dunno if this waffly post will help but just wanted to let you know my experience.

LoveBeingInvitedToTheVIPSale Fri 08-Oct-10 17:55:59

Whilst I agree that how you look after your teeth has lots to do with it, so also does your own make-up. My brother seems to have got away without hardly any work on his teeth whilst I ahve had a few fillings (I'm talking about childhood), even though he drank litres of coke a day (fullfat).

Madascheese Fri 08-Oct-10 17:57:10

I got the whole lecture from littlemads first dentist about giving him sweets, I said nothing because it was clearly going to be pointless, and he said 'there is no point telling me you don't feed him fizzy drinks and rubbish because I know you'll be lying'


No wonder I'm like I am about Dentists really.....

hugglymugly Fri 08-Oct-10 19:44:27

This happened to our DC2, but nearly thirty years ago so I don't know whether the treatment he had would be considered appropriate now. On his second visit to the dentist, we were told that practically every tooth needed filling. For several reasons, we moved the children from that dentist to mine, who had a much gentler approach to children. He confirmed that DC2's teeth were bad but recommended 4-monthly fluoride treatment to try to prevent further decay, and going on to a sugar-free diet. He said he wouldn't want to extract or fill any teeth unless really necessary, e.g. if DC2 got toothache, because that could put him off dentists for life.

All that worked very well, and no extractions or fillings were necessary. The fluoride treatment continued long after his adult teeth came in. The going sugar-free was a bit difficult to begin with but we used recipes in a book written by another dentist which used only fruit as a sweetener in puddings, cakes and biscuits. It did take a while to adjust to the lower level of sweetness, and we weren't completely ruthless – both DCs had school dinners so they had puddings the same as everyone else - but we didn't allow sweets or fruit drinks. As neither DH nor I used sugar in tea or coffee, we were only buying a bag of sugar roughly once a year, and then it was only used by visitors.

I don't know whether that kind of hands-off approach would be acceptable these days. The only downside to that conservative approach was that DC2 did have bouts of bad breath until his baby teeth had all fallen out, which may be a good reason for a more active treatment plan.

I wonder if some dentistry people could comment as to whether that approach would be appropriate these days or maybe, if it would, whether the NHS fee structure in dentistry would make it difficult for dentists to offer that approach on the NHS (we paid for the fluoride treatment privately).

But I do understand the guilt thing. Oh yes, I really do.

LoveBeingAMardyBum Sat 09-Oct-10 09:54:41

fluoride treatment [boak] i had that its the one in the gum shields isnt it.

madascheese, how did you stop yourself from picking up your ds and walking out shock

monkeymanic Tue 12-Oct-10 11:57:35

just joined mumsnet....sooo glad i'm not the only one with a six year old with fillings falling out every few months. Felt like the worlds worst mum, the dentist insists that these cavities are due to my sons diet.We brush and brush religiously. I have no fillings, my teenage son who brushes once a week has no fillings, we all eat the same kind of food??? anyhow i am reassured now i have read your many posts, thanks!!

heppy23 Tue 12-Oct-10 17:26:01

We found out our son had two cavities when we first took him to the dentist.
The local dentist isn't very good with kids, she tried to fill one but DS wasn't having it.
We got referred to a dental clinic who used a special paint to sort the teeth out.
One of the painted teeth has recently collapsed (back to bad habits on sweets!) so DS had to have a filling. Different dentist who said she needed to use a "tickle tool" for 5 seconds, filling done.
It's easy to think that baby teeth aren't important but it's this time when good and bad habits are picked up.
A good set of baby teeth is important for learning to speak and getting good nutrition.
The dentist at the clinic told us he'd recently seen a 5 year old whose teeth were so bad they had no choice but to remove them ALL under a general anaesthetic.
Now this kid can only have mushy food and talks funny!

Madascheese Tue 12-Oct-10 19:18:25

Love being.. I just changed Dentists.

I read thread on here shortly afterwards when I was still full of horror about it where that type of thing was being discussed which made me feel a bit better, Dad had come with me then and we both left reeling - becase we both knw what Littlemad gets fed (I am the constant butt of jokes in our family because I'm 'mean' with sweets cakes and calpol!)

The new place is very much better though and they are being really kind with Littlemad, he wasn't upset at all last time he came out - it's really important for me that Littlemad doesn't grow up with the same phobia I've got she says with my broken tooth I refuse to have fixed....

Dxexpxrxexsxexdxaxtx12 Thu 11-Jun-15 23:48:57

I may be only 12 but I know bribery is not the option for a child so young, when I was much younger I had to have alot of fillings due to the fact that I had REALY bad reflux as a baby/toddler. I'm having an operation it my mouth in about 5 and 1/2 hours and this is because when in was little my mum permently made my brain think that if I Didn't get something for doing something that there was no point and also I hv 6 teen removed and I'm scared(terrified) of the dentist cos I was once at a dentist and they shoved a mask on me and cos I was so young I didn't understand what was happening and I hv that nightmare of that dentist 60% of the time, make shore they know what's happening and don't force enything, start bye just talking about it and if they still refuse then every couple of hours talk about it, they will get so annoyed about talking about it that they will have it done just to make you shut-up��

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