1

votes

How to prevent cavities in toddler?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 23, 2013 at 4:31 PM

My daughter is just over 4yo. We've been taking her to the dentist every 6mo I think and she looked fine at her last visit but this time they said she has lots of decay between her teeth - too many to count they said. We haven't really been flossing her teeth but really who flosses the teeth of a 4yo (my parents didn't!)? We brush but using Tom's toothpaste, which is flouride free since until recently she wasn't good at spitting.

Anyway, on to the Paleo part of the question. I try to keep her close to Paleo and my wife is on board with that but not as familiar or strict as I am. I make all of her food except breakfast. I know my wife gives her a piece of candy in the morning and typically gives her other refined carbohydrates for breakfast (waffles, oatmeal, low-ish sugar cereal, etc) but sometimes also eggs and yogurt (sweetened with Maple syrup I think). I make her lunch and dinners and there's no refined carbohydrates in those half is typically fresh fruit and I suspect she preferentially eats it. I guess her daycare gives her junk - pears in "light syrup", bagels, cheerios, etc as snacks. Is that really enough to cause this level of decay? I mean, I see other kids eating bread at like every single meal and I'm sure they get cavities too but I haven't heard of any with this kind of response from a dentist.

I think we're going to start taking a hard line with her. I'm thinking fruit at only one meal a day, no more candy, and low carb breakfasts (eggs, yogurt, or sausage). I guess we need to ask daycare to give our snack choice instead, though I'm not sure what to give. Maybe Organic Valley cheese sticks. What else can you think of? Her daycare also provides a pizza lunch on Fridays (it's healthy since its on whole grain crust! :P) but I guess we'll let that one slide. To complicate matters, it's a kosher daycare center so no meat except fish and eggs is permitted.

I guess I'm just looking for advice about how to adjust her eating habits without causing too much distress for her, seeing what other kids eat and not really understanding why we're denying her those pleasures. We love her daycare center otherwise - it was a big selling point for moving to our city actually - so we're not inclined to move elsewhere.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on August 05, 2013
at 10:13 PM

Just to update, we discussed it with a dentist and he said the type of decay is from sleeping with a milk bottle in the mouth. We never did that but we don't really know what our daycare did so we're guessing that's the cause. He said this level of decay takes years to occur and what's amazing is she's seen two dentists over the past year and they both missed it! I guess they didn't look too closely since we use the same dentist and they know how well we take care of our teeth. Bummer :(

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on July 24, 2013
at 08:20 PM

And yes--FLOSS! I used to have my kids lie down on the bed with their head slightly hanging off the edge and we played "dentist" so I could floss their teeth. I also like the Reach Flosser http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&do--it's like a toothbrush handle which holds a little floss at one end--easy to reach into their tiny mouths. It sounds like she may have some dental issues and you can't start too soon teaching her good oral care techniques.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on July 24, 2013
at 08:20 PM

Fermented foods, too. Kids love pickles, sauerkraut, and milk kefir to drink (make your own, add ONE strawberry to fermented kefir, wait one day (secondary fermentation) and you have a strawberry flavored kefir drink--she'll LOVE it!).

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 24, 2013
at 08:01 PM

She gets juice sometimes when we eat out so maybe 2-3 cups a month. She has milk sometimes but mostly she just drinks water. Still hasn't had soda to my knowledge. We're starting her on the F toothpaste now. She swallowed a little last night but seems to be taking it seriously. My city does add F to water as well. I took F pills as a kid b/c my homecity didn't add it to water (and it's not a hippie city so I don't know why).

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 23, 2013
at 09:26 PM

If he is using fluoride toothpaste AND getting a floride pill everyday, he is getting too much fluoride. Fluoride competes with iodine in the body, so if you think it helps with teeth, keep the dose low, and at teeth. It is supposed to work on the enamel. There is no reason to take it internally. Look, I just looked at the initial question, and they use Toms because their daughter has had trouble spitting- which means they don't want the kid swallowing poison! Please stop giving your kid that pill.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 23, 2013
at 09:20 PM

Yes, but I am not clear on how much, nor on how much variation there could be.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 23, 2013
at 06:08 PM

Grass fed butter or Ghee for K2, no?

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 23, 2013
at 06:07 PM

Same with me. In fact, ~3 years ago before going Paleo I had a few small cavities that my dentists were watching. They're still watching them, despite the lack of enamel!

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 23, 2013
at 06:05 PM

I don't give it myself most of the time but when I give it its just a few pieces of m&ms or something like that. A whole pack might last a week or more. But I don't see what my wife does. Certainly a no refined carb diet should stop the caries in its track except its virtually impossible to implement in modern society.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 23, 2013
at 06:03 PM

I had a lot of cavities as a kid so some of it is probably inherited. I wasn't suggesting a low carb diet, just a low carb breakfast so her teeth get a break at some point during the day to remineralize. At other times I was thinking of limiting carbs to complex carbs, which caries causing bacteria can't digest I think. She gets very little refined sugar except from dark chocolate and a small morning treat.

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5 Answers

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 23, 2013
at 04:39 PM

Candy in the morning? Egads!!!

Otherwise, sounds exactly like what I ate growing up and I had LOTS of cavities as a kid.

Suggest you check out this site: http://www.curetoothdecay.com/index.html

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 23, 2013
at 06:05 PM

I don't give it myself most of the time but when I give it its just a few pieces of m&ms or something like that. A whole pack might last a week or more. But I don't see what my wife does. Certainly a no refined carb diet should stop the caries in its track except its virtually impossible to implement in modern society.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 23, 2013
at 05:29 PM

There is no need to have a child on a low carb diet. There's a lot of metabolic pathways in growth hormones, and insulin is very important. My childrens' diets are probably 50% carbs. Very little are refined sugar or candy (they get treats from time to time -- but that is an exception). But they get plenty of fruit, oats, rice, starchy vegetables, and fruit juice (homemade with pulp).

Low carb and ketogenic diets have been shown to stunt growth in children.

Unless your child is epileptic, limited carbs is just not necessary.

Just my N=1, but none of my children have ever had a cavity.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 23, 2013
at 06:03 PM

I had a lot of cavities as a kid so some of it is probably inherited. I wasn't suggesting a low carb diet, just a low carb breakfast so her teeth get a break at some point during the day to remineralize. At other times I was thinking of limiting carbs to complex carbs, which caries causing bacteria can't digest I think. She gets very little refined sugar except from dark chocolate and a small morning treat.

1
A7c1857ce53fb11a9351d05718c7070d

(283)

on July 23, 2013
at 05:27 PM

I had lots of cavities as a kid and also and ate lots of refined carbs and candy/sugar. Since going strict paleo my dentist and oral hygienist says my teeth are perfect :-) This is sans any type of flouride at all!

Hunter gatherer populations had very little cavities, even in populations with poor oral hygiene habits. So why is this the case? It appears to be about the type of oral bacteria promoted by certain foods along with proper nutrient intake. There was a recent study about this and I wrote an article on it:

Hope it helps, or is at least interesting for you to read!

http://www.thebarefootgolfer.com/2013/04/04/oral-bacteria-and-our-health-an-evolutionary-diet-perspective/

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 23, 2013
at 06:07 PM

Same with me. In fact, ~3 years ago before going Paleo I had a few small cavities that my dentists were watching. They're still watching them, despite the lack of enamel!

0
Cce42572dbe3567a9b3a485a861ad2c4

on July 23, 2013
at 09:13 PM

why flouride free toothpaste? I floss my 3 year olds teeth every other day as it is not that hard. Our son also uses flouride toothpaste and takes a flouride pill everyday. Our water does not have any in it like most cities. How much juice does your child get? That eats their teeth.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 24, 2013
at 08:01 PM

She gets juice sometimes when we eat out so maybe 2-3 cups a month. She has milk sometimes but mostly she just drinks water. Still hasn't had soda to my knowledge. We're starting her on the F toothpaste now. She swallowed a little last night but seems to be taking it seriously. My city does add F to water as well. I took F pills as a kid b/c my homecity didn't add it to water (and it's not a hippie city so I don't know why).

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 23, 2013
at 09:26 PM

If he is using fluoride toothpaste AND getting a floride pill everyday, he is getting too much fluoride. Fluoride competes with iodine in the body, so if you think it helps with teeth, keep the dose low, and at teeth. It is supposed to work on the enamel. There is no reason to take it internally. Look, I just looked at the initial question, and they use Toms because their daughter has had trouble spitting- which means they don't want the kid swallowing poison! Please stop giving your kid that pill.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 23, 2013
at 05:52 PM

Fat soluble vitamins. Stephan Guyenet used to be good for something. He did a few things on teeth and related issues, so I suggest reading the post I linked to and then searching his site for a few more.

For K2, well I don't know how you approach this with someone that young. Foie gras? Presumably natural sources are best. I supplement, and while I have had those Thorne drops, I think the Carlsons 5mg pills are best because they are from animal rather than made in a lab. That said, I don't know what the dosage would be for a four year old girl, so whole foods high in K2 are probably a better approach. But if you do get worried enough to supplement, I figure you ought to have that heads up. The Thorne drops just didn't seem as efficacious as the Carlsons. You could just open up the capsules and sprinkle a little on some food in a pinch, I suppose.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on July 24, 2013
at 08:20 PM

And yes--FLOSS! I used to have my kids lie down on the bed with their head slightly hanging off the edge and we played "dentist" so I could floss their teeth. I also like the Reach Flosser http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&do--it's like a toothbrush handle which holds a little floss at one end--easy to reach into their tiny mouths. It sounds like she may have some dental issues and you can't start too soon teaching her good oral care techniques.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 23, 2013
at 06:08 PM

Grass fed butter or Ghee for K2, no?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 23, 2013
at 09:20 PM

Yes, but I am not clear on how much, nor on how much variation there could be.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on July 24, 2013
at 08:20 PM

Fermented foods, too. Kids love pickles, sauerkraut, and milk kefir to drink (make your own, add ONE strawberry to fermented kefir, wait one day (secondary fermentation) and you have a strawberry flavored kefir drink--she'll LOVE it!).

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