Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Baby's Filling

Dear Dr. Ellie:

I don't know if you remember me, but I've emailed several times with questions about my daughter's teeth. I told you about how she'd had one filling and it was a very, very bad experience (choking, gagging, etc). I told you that she had another cavity in a molar and so far we haven't had anything done to it even though the dentist said four months ago it MUST be filled. We've been on the Act and xylitol now for six months, so far, nothing much has happened, other than the decay seeming to slow down. But just today the filling that she originally had done in her front tooth fell out (it's only 7 months old), and I think more of the tooth is broken off. I understand that you cannot diagnose without seeing a patient, but even so I am sending you a photo that I've taken for your opinion. The tooth that lost the filling is next to her upper right front tooth. You can see the corner broken off. I couldn't get her to hold still for a more direct shot. If you save this and zoom in, you can see much better.
I am panicking over what to do, whether to take her back and have it redone or just leave it alone now that the filling came out after only 7 months. I don't see how having it redone is any good if it's not going to stay in. She says it doesn't hurt. She is two and a half.


Thanks in advance.
-N


Hi N,


Thanks for the lovely picture your daughter looks like a doll!

It is vital that we get her mouth healthy because kids with good teeth at 4 years old are more likely to have good adult teeth for life and that's a fact!!!

These front teeth will be in her mouth until she is about 7 years old. I really doubt that a new filling will last another 5 years so the question is whether it is better to :

• leave this tooth alone

• repair it now and again later and again...

• repair it later when her cooperation will allow a decent filling to be put there (maybe the best option)

I somehow remember your stories suggesting you have a fair minded dentist who will probably be OK with waiting unless this tooth is sharp or more damaged than it looks on the picture. From the picture these front teeth look as if they are getting harder and look stronger the decay look as if it is in remission. Good job!

My suggestion is ensure your daughter has at least 5 or more exposures to xylitol daily lots of little amounts. Put the xylitol on a spoon, crush up a mint or dissolve granular xylitol in water to sip during the day.

Mix and match but lots of little exposures. It is essential!!! Brush her teeth with the ACT at least twice a day and always last thing before sleeping. Nap time and sleep time are the times that put teeth at most risk.
From the picture I see that her second back molars are coming through into her mouth. This is a critical time for them because they decay very quickly. Work hard at the xylitol now and she will have better oral health for life!!
Thanks for your confidence in me I think you are doing great keep up the good work,
Best wishes,
Ellie

Ellie Phillips DDS
Dental Health for Everyone!

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