At the age of 2 my daughter was developing a dark spot in between her two front teeth. After taking her to the dentist he referred us to a pediodontist as he would not work on a toddler. Taking her to the pediodontist we discovered that she had multiple cavities starting to form. After going through the trauma of fixing the developing cavity on her front tooth, the dentist decided that he would crown the tooth with the other cavity on it to eliminate the need to fix another cavity on the same tooth later on down the road.
My daughter is now 4 and the pediodontist is trying to get us to put 6 more crowns on her molars as they are all showing signs of cavities. We are at a loss. At this point, she has developed a complete phobia of the dentist so we would have to put her out completely and do all the crowns at once. Is that healthy? Why is she developing cavities? We have been so traumatized that we have brushed her teeth 3 times a day since our first bout with the dentist. We never gave her flouride out of fear of the health problems that can arise later. Apparently that was a bad idea.
Why is the dentist not removing the decay, placing fillings, and then sealants on the teeth?
Diet is a major contributing factor to tooth decay. Does she drink fruit juices, milk, anything like Pedia-Lite, or soda? What types of foods does she eat? Some foods and drinks are healthy for kids, but they can wreak havoc on teeth, especially on children who may have thin enamel and/or 'sweet' saliva. Does she breathe through her mouth more than her nose? Does she go to bed or take naps with a drink of some sort?
Brushing 3 times a day is a good thing, especially right before bed, but you also want her to drink and try and rinse her mouth out with water after every meal and snacks. If she has trouble rinsing, which is not easy for kids to do, then have her drink some water after snacks, meals, and anything she drinks.
If you don't have fluoride added to your water, then consider purchasing kids toothpaste with fluoride. You only need a small drop of toothpaste, (about the size of a pea), on the toothbrush and then rinse after you are done brushing. Fluoride causes problems when consumed in large quantities. If she is not taking any fluoride supplements, there's no fluoride in the water, and she doesn't have a fluoride rinse, using toothpaste with fluoride is ok.
If you use a standard manual kids toothbush, consider using a powered toothbrush. Electric or battery powered toothbrushes work well in cleaning the teeth and stimulating the gums. If you don't floss her teeth, start a flossing routine as soon as possible.
She doesn't drink a lot of juice or a lot of sweet things. Not a lot of meat is eaten in our family so she's eating al ot of vegetables and grains. Howerver, the only way that we found effective to ween her from breast feading was through the use of natural fruit leather. Now I know this was a no no, but at the time, it was the only way we could find to save my wife. She breast fed until 2yrs. old. Anyway, I'm sure that helped develop the initial cavities, but she still is very succeptible to them. I have heard that a child can become calcium deficient early on in development for numerous reasons. Have you heard of such a thing?
It may be that she was born with thin enamel on her teeth. Also some people have very acidic saliva and some people have more sweet saliva. If she tends to be more on the sweet side, this may have an impact on the rate at which the cavities develop.
Teeth are going to have as much calcium in them as they are going to have by the time they are finished developing in the jaw bone and erupt. It's possible that her teeth may just be 'soft' meaning that her teeth did not develop enough enamel.
Crowns on primary teeth do not affect the adult teeth developing underneath. The reasons why many dentists place crowns on primary teeth is so that the tooth will be protected and remain in the socket, preserving the space for the adult tooth until natural eruption of the adult tooth occurs. If the child develops a lot of cavities and or needs a lot of restorative work, placing crowns on the teeth is an option, sometimes the only option, to preserve the tooth. If a child looses a primary tooth prematurely, problems can occur with the erupting adult tooth. The space can be held open by what is called a 'spacer', but it's best to keep her primary teeth as long as possible until natural eruption takes place.
The problem is, when she has crowns on her teeth, it is critical that her teeth are kept as clean as possible. Whenever anything foreign is in the mouth, such as crowns, they become natural plaque traps. Her dental hygiene routine will have to be top notch to reduce the risk of any future cavities and/or failure of the crowns due to plaque and tartar build-up and other complications.
If the cavities were developing between the teeth, that is associated with not flossing and/or not flossing properly. It's a good idea to get on a regular flossing routine, especially if she will have crowns on any of her teeth.