14 posts categorized "Teeth"

Braces: just a scam?

October 22, 2013

I had braces for exactly 2 years, from ages 14 to 16.  The "Brady Bunch" had an episode about Marcia getting braces and how she had to adjust to them, accept them.  I suppose I thought they might just be a rite of passage.

Our 13-year old's dentist suggested we have an orthodontic consultation.  "The 45-minute consultation is free," the scheduler told me, "and we will walk through the doctor's recommendations, and all of your options and costs."  From the moment we set the appointment, it felt like a bit of a sales pitch.  My daughter was taught how to scan in at the front desk computer, brush up, and where to sit, "for the next time".  From my waiting room chair, I saw an endless stream of teens scanning themselves in, brushing teeth, and sitting to wait for the doctor.

 The doctor and the assistant were super smooth and fast-talking.  They were uber friendly and joke-making.  The recommendation: extraction of 4 teeth to make room then braces, no headgear, for 24 months.  The cost: $6855.

Continue reading "Braces: just a scam?" »

Braces: Sooner or Later?

August 18, 2011

5712007607_ae7b85eb63 It's neat to see how our issues change over the years as our kids move from infants to toddlers to preschoolers and now school-aged kids. One of our readers emailed recently about orthodontics. My 8 year old son will inevitably need braces, but at a recent visit to the dentist, our doctor wasn't too concerned about looking into at this age. Conversely, one of his classmates had braces starting at age 7. Perhaps you have some perspective for this mama. She writes:

I am looking to canvass mothers of OLDER kids (which there seem to be some who read the site, hm?) about orthodontics. Yes, I'm interested in finding a good orthodontist--but also interested in advice others would give about a) how much you have to take orthodontists' word for it that your kid NEEDS braces; b) parents' experience dealing with the whole braces process, and advice therein; c) cost and insurance coverage--our current insurance doesn't cover and I am eager to find out if this is an anomaly or totally typical.

The long and short of it if you are interested is that I recently found out that my daughter is lacking four adult teeth, two tops and two bottoms, all close to the front. What this means is that they are suggesting tooth extraction (of the babies that haven't yet come out) and braces for her in the next year or so. I'm frankly horrified...but want to do the right thing, of course. And w/out insurance this will all START at $2K.

Seeking Orthodontic Advice

July 19, 2010

And back to our regular programming.  An urbanMama recently emailed: I know this topic has been posted before, but I would love another round of advice. My 5-year-old daughter and her already-crowded little jaw are destined for braces, and we'd like to get a preliminary evaluation for orthodontia. I have two questions:

  1. Can anyone share their experiences with making a decision about doing an early round of braces/spacers/extractions/whatever? My impression is that the current practice is to do two rounds (one at age 8ish, one at 13ish), but there's controversy about whether the first round just adds expense and trauma without much payoff. I'd love to know what others have learned in researching, making the decision, and looking back on the decision.
  2. Can anyone recommend an orthodontist (not necessarily pediatric), especially in SE?

Seeking Fluoride Tablets: is there a shortage?

November 26, 2008

Perhaps you can help this mama with finding the fluoride?

I've been trying without success for a week or so now to get a prescription refill for my son's fluoride tablets.  The pharmacists at Fred Meyer, Walgreen's, etc. tell me there's been a manufacturer's recall and none are available (one suggested, "just have him drink lots of water", umm...we live in PORTLAND!?)  i thought we could just get a multi-vitamin with flouride but that's not available either.  Inexplicably, his pediatric dentist is not aware of the recall (though someone is supposed to be researching and call me back.)  Has anyone else encountered this problem and/or figured out what to do?

Is there a tooth fairy in your house?

February 09, 2008

Just as there were some of us who played Santa and some of us who didn't, we're sure some families are visited by the tooth fairy and some are not.

Our daughter has lost three teeth to date.  The first tooth, she lost at school.  She brought it home in a plastic bag.  Apparently she put it under her pillow that night, without our knowing.  The next day, we overheard her saying to a friend, "I think the tooth fairy is my mom or dad because I put my tooth under my pillow last night and I didn't tell them and I didn't get anything under my pillow. 

The second tooth, she lost in a marshmallow she was roasting by the fire when we were camping last summer.  She wasn't surprised when she didn't find any treats under her pillow.  "The tooth fairy probably doesn't know where I am," she explained to her friends.

Yesterday, she lost her third tooth.  And, in habitual form, she transferred mid-night into our bed (yes!  she is 7 years old and still comes to our bed every night).   In the morning, she rubbed her eyes and said, "I wonder if the tooth fairy left me anything under my pillow."  Her daddy noncholantly got out of bed to "pee" and crawled back in shortly after.  Wouldn't you know -- "Mama!  I got two dollars from the tooth fairy!"

So, this whole tooth fairy fiasco --- do you do it?  or not?  If your kids' teeth haven't fallen out yet: will you or won't you?

The Throes of Teething

January 07, 2008

For a few weeks now my nearly-15 month old has been battling the good fight... getting his molars.  When his pediatrician told me about what to expect when getting his molars:
    "The gums will get red and swollen and then when the tooth breaks through they will look infected and possibly bloody at times"
I was all sorts of terrified!  I know this isn't the first time I've been through this but I have to admit, this memory from son#1 has been apparently blocked.  So now we're going through it, and the pediatrician was right on all accounts.  Add to that in-the-mouth fun the runny diapers leading to diaper rash and I have on my hands one generally unhappy fella!

Tana is facing the same situation: 

After much consideration and a few calls to the advice nurse it seems my 13 month old is getting his one year molars. All of his symptoms suggest a cold; fever as high as 102 degrees, a little throw up, runny poopy diapers, lethargic, little appetite. Then I noticed that he kept fussing with his teeth and sure enough he has 3 molars coming in all at once. Poor guy!!!  The advice nurse said, this could go on until the teeth break through the gums. Really??   Is there other mamas who can share in my experience and offer there advice and encouragement???

Tana, you are not alone!  Yes it is tough, and it's not pretty, but as one of my favorite mama mantras states "This too shall pass".  And yes, it will take a while.  Sadly, I don't have any recommendations on how to ease his pain other than in the feverish cases, a little ibuprofen (I use this sparingly, only usually when he's losing sleep because he's in pain).  Any other mamas out there have advice to offer?

Early Childhood Cavities?

October 11, 2007

Oh, no -- could it be?  Cavities at such a young age?  Nursing caries, perhaps?  Any experience to share with Maria?

Few weeks ago I noticed some tiny black dots on my 13 month old baby's front tooth. When I asked the pediatritan about it she was very quick to "diagnose"" early childhood cavities. What??? the one and only pice of sweet food that my boy has ever had was this all organic-homemade-blueberry cake for his birthday. He is still breastfeeding and I cook all meals for him from scratch. I chose not to give him the fluoride and hope not to have to do it. I don't understand... no candy, no ice cream, no juice...what went wrong then? The cavity seems pretty small and I am meeting with the pediatric dentist very soon but what do you mamas know about this?

Tooth "Injury" Advice

June 05, 2007

Catroo has an interesting predicament.  Any dentists among the urbanMama community that can comment; or someone who has experienced something similar?

My 6 year-old son seems to be prone to "mouth" injuries.   On his first birthday, he bit through his tongue.  Ouch!   About a year ago he tripped and landed on one of his front baby teeth.   At the time we were living in a small town in Wisconsin, and the dentist said that there wasn't much he could do - just to let him know if the tooth started to look really bad.   So, we move to Portland, and I've been procrastinating finding a new dentist...we're all overdue.   A few days ago, Cooper gets yet another mouth injury.  This time he busts his lip and knocks out the tooth next to the damaged one.  (I'm pretty sure the one he lost was loose anyway.)  But now the damaged tooth is feeling wiggly and seems to be jutting forward.  So - should I rush him to the dentist?   Or just let it hopefully fall out on it's own soon.  As luck would have it, we just changed insurance coverage, and I'm in the midst of straightening out an data entry error regarding our dental insurance.   We'll all be going to the dentist soon anyway, but I wonder if I should try to get him in fast.

Hard Core Teething

February 21, 2007

Amidst all the flu-like illnesses turned infection, our littlest family member decided to sprout a tooth!  To say I was surprised is an understatement... he was still two days shy of 4 months old!  I know that he isn't the youngest baby to ever get teeth, but I'm a little confused as to how to help my little guy through the teething pain.

The common answers like ibuprofen, teething biscuits, and chew toys aren't really going to work for our little guy.  He's too young for ibuprofen, still only breastfed, and not coordinated enough to hold chew toys to his mouth for very long.  One might mention Hyland's teething tablets, but if you look closely you'll see that they are formed mostly from a base of Lactose, which won't be helping his eczema at all.

So I will probably search out the Hyland's Gel to see if it helps.  It's claiming to be "all natural" but with all the "parabens" thrown in there I do wonder.  Meanwhile, besides massaging his gums myself, do you have any recommendations for young teethers?  (PS -- I don't have any whiskey and I don't think I'd use it if I did!)

Seeking Advice on "Nursing" Caries

May 28, 2006

Sara's wrought with worry over a nursing caries situation.  Any advice, please?!?

I'd like to ask if any Mama's have had to take a very young child to a pediatric dentist for extensive "nursing" caries. I saw one thread regarding the first dental visit, but it sounded as if those babies might have been much older than mine.

I co-sleep and night nurse my 12 month old son. Last month a very small pit, confirmed to be a cavity, developed in one of his upper front teeth. Over the last few weeks, while waiting to take him to the follow up exam, all four of his front upper teeth have become ravaged with decay. They are noticeably being eaten away. I am going crazy with worry over every aspect of this, the knee jerk "night nursing" diagnosis, the idea of him being strapped down to fill cavities, the idea that they might not even fill them or that it may be too late, the risks of general anesthesia, the cost, the slow referral/appointment/interview process in light of the very rapid decay. Not to mention the guilt. Or the numerous opportunities for emotional scarring. I am losing a lot of sleep, and can not seem to find much information. I plan to call the La Lecher League this week in hopes of finding a pediatric dentist who might be able to offer us options, or support, but if any of the Mama's have suffered through this and have any suggestions or referrals I would very much appreciate them.

A Visit to the Dentist

February 20, 2006

My son, the fussy eater, likes to eat nothing more than fruit in all forms - fresh, dried, dehydrated, juiced.  We brush, floss, and use fluoride regularly.  But now that he's three, it really is time to take him to the dentist to make sure that all of the fruit and sugar consumption has not taken an adverse toll on the health of his teeth and gums.  How old was your child when you took her/him to the dentist?  Did you take your child to a pediatric dentist, or your own?  Any recommendations for a good pediatric dentist?


February 15, 2006

Jack just started biting me while nursing...  He's 5 months old with two bottom teeth.  With two year old Ella traipsing around, I can't bear the idea of pumping and bottle feeding.  Any ideas for helping to break Jack of this new and PAINFUL thing?

First visit to the dentist

February 02, 2005

I've been discussing and contemplating when to take the little guy to the dentist for the first time. I saw fit to get my own dental needs taken care of so that I could be a good example (I've been burned, and poked, and broken SO many times by so many different dentists... you better believe that this was challenging for me). In any case... he has all his first set of teeth minus those extra molars in now. I'm trying to teach him the importance of dental health and so we brush his teeth every night. Wait... let me rephrase. I have to hold him down and pin back his arms so I can attempt to get the goo out of his teeth with a toothbrush. I would say that this could be traumatic for him but as soon as it's over, he's fine. He is very eager at that point to take his fluoride drops (yum??). At some point it will be time to add the little guy to our dental plan and have a dentist look at his teeth. If I were him.... it would scare the diaper off of me. How am I going to take him to the dentist and not have him hate it more than anything? Am I just projecting my own fears onto him or is it a legitimate thing that children probably don't want some stranger with rubber hands digging in their mouth? What about choosing the right dentist... couldn't this make all the difference in the world??? How did you go about the first dentist visit? Do you have any good recommendations for a children's dentist (especially for toddlers)?


January 29, 2005

My 5-1/2 month daughter has her two bottom teeth coming in. She is sooo uncomfortable. We've used tablets, baby orajel, and some teethers, but she still seems to be in pain. Does anyone have any other suggestion, or tricks you used while your kids were teething? I was wondering, I know the bottom two teeth are the first to come in, but did most of your childrens bottom teeth come in at the same time, or one right after the other? Always can use suggestions. Thanks!