Sugar Bugs

Jeff has his first (an with any luck, only) cavity. We went to the dentist the other day for routine cleanings, and our marvelous, grandfatherly dentist found a tiny cavity on one of Jeff’s molars, near his gums. Now, neither I nor my my husband had any cavities until we were adults, so pediatric dentistry, other than cleanings and fluoride, is foreign territory.

Dr. Dentist is suggesting we fill the little bugger- since it’s on a tooth Jeff will have until he is in his early teens… but he will eventually lose it. Dr. Dentist also says they usually knock squirrel-y little boys out with some nitrous oxide, too, instead of using Novocaine… And I’m a little nervous about the whole shebang.

Anyone have any experience with this? Anyone else been though this or have anything, pro or con, they’ve experienced with their kids?

On the up-side, Jeff is now paranoid about sugar, and even turned down a piece of candy at lunch the other day, because, in his own words, “The sugar-bugs will get me!”.

10 thoughts on “Sugar Bugs

  1. Lauren has chalk for teeth. The last time she went in (after grad school for Dad when we had NO insurance) she had 7 cavities!! She has my teeth for sure. If I LOOK at sugar I get a cavity. I take her to a pediatric dentist. They try NOT to use novicane on teeth now. They feel the shot is more traumatic than the process. Cavities on the surface don’t need to be numbed anyhow. They did ALL of Lauren’s on nitrus and she was fine. She just went in to have her teeth sealed today and they used it again b/c she was nervous from the last time they did “contrusction”. Not because it hurt, but because she didn’t like them being in her mouth. With the nitrus, she was fine. 🙂

    I say do it. Try it w/ the nitrus and if it doesn’t work, they can always give him a little shot if he needs it. Then ask about getting his teeth sealed. 🙂

  2. When my oldest was 3, we went in for his first professional cleaning and were shocked to hear he had 12 cavities! He has his dad’s enamel, that’s for sure! He refused to let anyone in his mouth after the first loud noise and we were sent to a specialist. They tried a few different things, nitrous and some kind of “sleepy juice”, but in the end, we had to put him under general anesthesia to get them all filled. Better to have it be a good experience than to have him hate the dentist forever. Go for the nitrous.

    I second the sealants. #1 hasn’t had a single cavity since getting them.

  3. Hi… I’m a dentist… People hate us????? LOL!
    Last week, I tried doing some shallow fillings with no anesthetic (first time ever) and miraculously, it was a piece of cake! I agree–it seems like in many cases, the injection is more traumatic than anything else… (for adults too, actually…)

  4. Since my baby is still all gums, I can’t tell you about my kid’s teeth. I have always had horrible teeth, and I have the fillings and crowns to prove it. My first dentist refused to believe that my seven year old mouth couldn’t possibly open any wider. Things became much easier when we switched to one that understood important things like this. So that’s my grown-up kid’s perspective.

    I actually hated the nitrous when I was young because it made me feel all floaty and weird, so I toughed out the shots. It’s funny how things change. Bring on the gas!

  5. Unfortunately some of my kids have teeth like mine – very weak – and have had a few cavities already. Our experiences with the dentist have been really good and consequently I’m a little surprised that your dentist is offering anything at all. A little tiny filling like that should be no problem for a first-timer. Our dentist didn’t offer anything at all and even more than one filling (the tiny ones) hardly took any time at all to do. Is this something that is routinely offered at the offices you all visit?

  6. Also, I am an adult dentist phobe. It turns out that I have an abnormally high resistance to novicane. SO…it takes a billion shots before I am really numb. I spent my childhood getting fillings and FEELING it. They didn’t believe me when I said it hurt.

    I was an adult going to the dentist for a root canal before I had a visit w/out pain. I don’t know why my parents didn’t seal MY teeth (poor lulu has my teeth) but I had A LOT of cavities. I am all for making it a better experience….

    I have to go to a sleep dentistry dentist of have valium to go. Even now. Even after having “ok” visits. Blah.

  7. My oldest and youngest daughters have exceptionally soft teeth as well… the oldest had “happy-gas” the first time she had to have fillings and extractions… (extractions because she had such a tiny mouth, not because she had such rotton teeth! LOL)
    the only drawback is that she (my oldest) is hypersensitive to the smell, and instantly has flashbacks to the time she had all that work done, while I can’t even smell it. She, too, hated that floaty weird feeling.
    sealants have saved us so much over the years…Money as well as trauma.

  8. The nitrous gas made me feel dizzy and nauseous as a kid. I hated that stuff. I had really bad teeth as a kid, but then when my adult teeth came in we had them sealed and I haven’t had too many problems since. I didn’t think the shots were that bad, as long as I closed my eyes and didn’t see them coming. It’s just a tiny pinch, and then numb the outside of the gum first (with baby teething gel sort of stuff, I think the dentists is stronger, but they taste the same).

    I’d say the most important thing is to not make a big deal about it and believe your kid. When I told me mom the nitrous was making me nauseous she made them stop right away and give me a shot instead. And that made all the difference in the world to me. It made going to the dentist not scary because my mom stood up for me, and I knew I could trust her.

    The worst thing about fillings is still the smell of burning tooth while they’re drilling.

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