Hi Dr. Ellie,
I came upon your name, blog, articles and the rest of your followers on the net and I am relieved. I just want to ask for your input on pulpectomies of toddlers. I know by your vast experience and knowledge I can get some ideas.
I am a quite in agony right now. My 2 year and 2 months old baby developed bad milk-bottle teeth, discolored, and started breaking in half -all four front teeth. I am blaming myself for this because I was giving her milk to make her sleep at night- she kind of a challenging baby at first – just cried all the time and would not sleep and milk could make her sleep. We just gave it and were happy to see her settle down.
Now, she has my worst fear in life, she has broken and decayed teeth per her pediatric dentist and he suggested doing pulpectomy all 4 of them. Since she is just 2 years old and less than 30 lbs, he said he will do it on a papoose and with a local mouth anesthesia. I am so scared – been in the net trying to get info, to do it or not to do. Fears of side effects, how can she or I tolerate the procedure (she is so strong, we need 3 people to hold her down with her immunizations, I mean a male big nurse is always called to help us). One more thing can it affect her eating pattern? I came across something that said, they don’t want to swallow foods after pulpectomy. This time I even have that problem, she has selective swallowing- certain foods she would hoard in her mouth for a while. All she eats is soup, noodles, pasta- her peds said just continue offering- she will outgrow it??? Is there any risk of these pulpectomy not being successful? I am so worried, can you give me advice when you have available time. I apologize for a long letter. Thank you so much for giving attention amidst your busy schedule. God Bless you for all your help and education.
I cannot diagnose for your daughter – since I have not seen her.
I can only discuss some things that may help you decide what to do.
MILK IS NOT THE PROBLEM
The milk you gave your daughter is not the problem.
Germs/bacteria in your daughter’s mouth are the problem.
These germs produce acids which burn away the tooth – resulting in the destruction.
You and your family all share these germs.
Once the germs are gone – there will be no more destruction.
You infect each other – so you must all start on an oral health program with xylitol.
Xylitol will get rid of this infection(germs) and stop the disease.
You MUST start this immediately – for your children, for you and involve other caretakers.
HOW TO USE XYLITOL
If you look closely at my website you will see how to use xylitol.
You need 1-2 teaspoons a day, after meals and make sure you have lots of little exposures.
Kids like the taste ( buy some granular to start) and put it on a spoon to eat after every meal.
Get some ACT rinse and brush your daughter’s teeth with one drop of this liquid when you can.
Don’t stress about the brushing – just try.
Maybe give her the brush and let her suck on it. – maybe before nap time or before bed at night.
ONLY one drop of the ACT on the brush – more is NOT better.
Every time she has a few grains of xylitol you are improving her situation.
Do this 5-10 times a day – to start ( just a few grains on a teaspoon each time).
This will stop the disease. Nature will help you!
Finally: things to consider:
If you stop the disease – the teeth will stop decaying and start to get healthier.
There is no absolute reason to repair these teeth if they are not infected.
In many countries this kind of decay is NOT repaired – and the kids are fine.
You (as mother) should weigh the long term stress for your child against the NEED for this.
Maybe you can wait – and keep an eye on the teeth.
If you see any bumps on the gum with pus coming out of them – then you will need to have some treatment.
It is important to protect the new teeth in the jaw that are growing.
They will only be damaged if you leave an untreated abscess for a long time.
To be sure, you could ask your dentist if there is any sign of an abscess.
He would need an X ray for that.
If an abscess develops – you can have your child strapped down then. What is the point now – if these teeth are not at that stage?
I cannot tell you what to do – except get on a xylitol program immediately.
I suggest that if you daughter is not in any pain – wait a while – until you are comfortable with your decision ( either way).
Most pediatric dentists will fill decayed teeth – they do not want to take any different road.
If they opt for “not treating” this can be criticized and carries the “risk” they “look bad” for NOT treating these teeth.
Personally I asses the BEST outcome for the child’s overall mental and physical health.
Sometimes this is NON treatment.
I hope this helps – talk about a long e-mail!