I have a five-year-old daughter who is extremely uncooperative at the dentist’s office. I have been through four pediatric dentists in our small city trying to find one who can get her to cooperate and it just hasn’t happened. She needs a lot of dental work and is having trouble eating. I’m worried. She has four teeth with decay right now and some of them have even lost tooth structure. What do I do?
I can tell you love your daughter Katie very much and want to get her the best care possible. She is in a position now where you almost have a dental emergency on your hands. The first thing I would do is find a dentist who works with children and also offers dental sedation. It does not necessarily have to be a pediatric dentist. There are general dentists who are good with children. If she is uncooperative, this will at least allow her to get the work done she needs.
While these are baby teeth we are dealing with, they are still most important for her to keep for two reasons. One, so she can eat properly. Two, if any of them are molars, she will need to keep those in place until she is twelve years old. If the teeth cannot be saved, then make certain the dentist places space maintainers there to keep the space open. Otherwise, her other teeth will shift and it will lead to crowding.
One other thing, the only way to get that much decay at her age is for her to snack quite a bit during the day. You may have to show some tough love. Do not let her eat between meals. This includes having too much juice. Try to limit her to water until her teeth are under control.
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