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Any dentists about? Why is my daughter having so many problems with her teeth?

(57 Posts)
castille Mon 23-Jul-07 21:03:47

She is 9, and for the past couple of years she has had endless dental problems. She seems to have very thin enamel, so has had a few fillings in her remaining milk teeth. Recently one milktooth got all infected inside so had to be extracted. Now she has an abcess under another milk tooth. Plus her permanent teeth are pretty yellow and it bothers her a lot.

It seems so unfair, and the poor girl has developed a major phobia of going to the dentist. I am very careful about oral hygiene and she has always brushed her teeth thoroughly twice a day, plus has been using a mouthwash recently so why is all this happening? Is it just bad luck? What, if anything, can be done to strengthen and whiten her permanent teeth? Seeing the dentist this week, but just wanted other opinions.

CarGirl Mon 23-Jul-07 21:12:03

does she drink a lot of fruit choice/eat a lot of fruit. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating these can attack the enemal just like drinking fizzy drinks and too many sweets can.

Antibiotics can also damage teeth before they erupt etc

I am not a dentist but have useless whitest of white teeth root canal treatment at 14 etc she has my sympathies

castille Mon 23-Jul-07 21:49:17

Root canal treatment at 14 - poor you.

I also thought yellowness was good in terms of enamel strength but it doesn't seem to be true in her case. Though her milk teeth are white, it's just her permanent teeth that are yellowy.

She does like fruit - has apple juice with breakfast and a piece of fruit with lunch and dinner (usually followed by yoghurt/cheese), but I've stopped letting her have juice between meals recently.

CarGirl Mon 23-Jul-07 21:51:29

Could she be brushing too hard, have you asked your dentist & hygienist for any help/info. I have had some bad dentists in the past that filled when they should have left and seen what happened????

aloha Mon 23-Jul-07 21:52:50

Talk to your dentist. They may be able to seal deep fissues or give a fluoride treatment. I sympathise hugely, as I have terrible, terrible teeth. I usually cry at the dentists because there is ALWAYS more bad news. I expect I'll have bloody dentures before too long.

CarGirl Mon 23-Jul-07 21:54:57

yes I remember having fluoride treatment as a child??? I think you can wear enamel away by overbrushing?

castille Mon 23-Jul-07 22:02:05

Overbrushing, hmm, maybe she does. Dentist is a friend of the family and extremely relaxed, to the point of not giving any helpful advice! Might take her to see someone else on the quiet for a 2nd opinion.

She had some deep fissures in her baby molars sealed recently, I hope they are helpful in preventing future problems.

Yes Cargirl, she had fluoride supplements as a baby too, prescribed as routine by the doctor. Isn't that supposed to strengthen teeth

aloha Mon 23-Jul-07 22:05:58

Take her someone else for second opinion - why not. It would be worth it to protect her teeth. It's horrible having weak teeth and I really do sympathise, as it must also be pretty horrible for you having to see her go through it all.

castille Mon 23-Jul-07 22:13:38

Thanks aloha, it is awful for her, she shakes and cries before going now and I hate having to tell her she has yet another appointment. I'm no fan, but have to hide my fear so as not to make hers worse.

I used to tell her how lucky she was not to have inherited my overcrowded teeth, but now I wish she had, because they might be crooked but they are pretty strong.

aloha Mon 23-Jul-07 22:18:27

Seriously, I would find another dentist. Ideally one who specialises in nervous patients. I know she is a friend of the family, but your daughter shouldn't be this scared. She sounds so similar to me at that age that my heart goes out to her. Find another dentist and things might be different. It sounds like they can't be much worse
I'm really sorry for you both.

castille Mon 23-Jul-07 22:27:54

She isn't particularly scared of the dentist himself - she even refused to find one when we were on holiday because she said she'd rather wait and see the usual guy - he's really very nice. She's just terrified of what she might have to go through.

But still I just wish he'd give us some concrete advice! Once I asked if he thought she should use an electric toothbrush or a manual and his reply was "whichever". Ditto when I asked for a toothpaste recommendation, and if she should use a mouthwash. It's really annoying!

peachypie Mon 23-Jul-07 22:34:17

Hi such a shame for your DD.

I was a dental nurse for 12 years and dental health educator for 6 years.
Its a common thought that if you brush your teeth twice a day then you will be ok but this isnt so -
Mostly diet is to blame for dental problems. frequency of sugars.

The most important thing to remember about the cause of decay is the unique role of sugar. No other type of food can be turned into acid by the bacteria in the mouth. No matter how much bateria or food debris are present in the mouth, decay doesnt happen unless sugar is eaten. If there was no sugar for us to eat there would be no decay.

So if you didnt eat sugar and never brushed your teeth you wouldnt get decay.

I hope you dont mind me asking but how many times a day does your daughter eat or drink something that maybe sugary?

castille Mon 23-Jul-07 22:40:50

Gosh, interesting that sugar is the cause of all dental evils! Do they cause abcesses too?

She eats four or five times a day. She has breakfast, sometimes a biscuit or some toast mid-morning, lunch, a snack at 4ish and dinner. All include sugar (not added, just in things like jam or yoghurt) or fruit (which is just as bad for teeth I understand?)

She loves sweets but I am v strict about them given her problems.

She is allowed sugar-free gum sometimes. Should she have it after every meal? I'm no fan of chewing gum but if it helps...

CarGirl Mon 23-Jul-07 22:43:04

I think dentists aren't ethically allowed to recommend certain toothbrushes/toothpastes etc I did find my teeth really improved with electric brush I think in part because the head is much smaller and it was easier to clean properly? Plus it is timed!

peachypie Mon 23-Jul-07 22:54:44

Abcess are caused by decay reaching the centre of the tooth where the nerve lives, the nerve after being exposed to the decay, dies off and pus begins to form inside the tooth which causes pressure and discomfort the only way it can escape somtimes is through a tiny hole called the apex which is the very top of the tooth where the nerve connects to main nerves.
So yes, god i sound like a right nerd

As you already know its not just sweets its the hidden suagrs in other foods that are evil Keep any snacks completely free from sugar ie - cheese, breadsticks, yogurt, water, milk.

Its the frequency of the sugars as i said, so if your daughter is having something with sugar in it say 5 times a day ie- breakfast, snack,lunch,snack,dinner, and maybe supper, everytime her teeth are being attacked by acid constantly.
Constant acid environment for her teeth allows demineralization (loss of minerals that you need to keep teeth strong) of the enamel to proceed, giving no respite between intakes of sugar for her natural defence mechanisim of remineralisation (saliva when no sugar present is capable of putting back the minerals to a certain point) to occur.

sorry if i have gone into it a bit much
It really winds me up how some dentists still dont provide the education need for prevention.

Please feel free to ask me anymore questions.

castille Mon 23-Jul-07 23:03:29

Aloha - didn't realise that about not being allowed to give recommendations. He didn't say! Maybe a timed electric brush would be a good thing for her. I don't supervise her brushing any more - at 9 I think she'd resent it - but a timer would be useful.

Thanks peachy, that's really helpful. Though I thought even natural yoghurt and milk had sugar (lactose) in them. Poor girl, it'll be really hard to keep her off sugar entirely, but if it means fewer hours in the dentist's chair maybe she can be persuaded.

What about the yellowness? They look sort of uneven in colour, not the same yellow all over. What could that be?

peachypie Mon 23-Jul-07 23:14:23

Yes Lactose is a form of sugar but much less acidic than say fructose for example which is in all fruit.

Is it brite white in places and yellow in other on the same tooth?

ComeOVeneer Mon 23-Jul-07 23:24:15

Dentists are allowed to recommend particular brands of toothpaste/makes of brushes.

ComeOVeneer Mon 23-Jul-07 23:26:05

Adult teeth are often slightly more yellow than baby teeth, but it is a uniform colour. Patchy colour tends to indicate poorly formed enamel, which will mean the teeth are weaker (hard to make any diagnosis without actually seeing the teeth in question though)

ComeOVeneer Mon 23-Jul-07 23:27:22

Sugars themselves are not acidic, they are metabolised by the bacteris in the mouth and acid is the by product of that metabolism.

ComeOVeneer Mon 23-Jul-07 23:27:49


peachypie Mon 23-Jul-07 23:28:50

Ahh a dentist i presume with a name like that, i can now retire for the night.

ComeOVeneer Mon 23-Jul-07 23:28:53

The bacteria have a "preference" to certain types of sugar depending on their molecular makeup (they favour those simpler sugars that can be broken down more easily).

kamikayzed Mon 23-Jul-07 23:33:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ComeOVeneer Mon 23-Jul-07 23:34:35

No need to retire peachy, your advice and info is excellent.

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