Dental problems and small growth


Hi, I have a 5 1/2 year old daughter who has PA. She has been cared for the same as the other children, however she has horrible teeth. She has seen a dentist since she was two. She has a crown, had the two front teeth pulled last year since the fillings fell out and then while eating a carrot the tooth shattered. She has fillings in all of her teeth and several teeth are just plain breaking. She has her teeth brushed several times a day and enjoys just brushing with water and flossing just for fun. My older daughter has great teeth and no allergies. I do everything the dentists have recommended but the teeth seem to always get worse. I feel like such a failure with her, like I should be able to help her better and stop all these problems. She is also very petite. She is only 36 pounds, I try to get her to gain weight, but she just seems to stay so small. Is there anyone else who's PA child has dental problems?

On Mar 27, 2001

It must be stressful having a child with dental problems. I am afraid of the dentist myself, so I know something like that would cause me a lot of anxiety. I think dental problems (the kind you are talking about) are simply part and parcel of your child, like the color of her hair and eyes. Obviously, she has good dental hygiene so these problems are not caused by anything you're doing. You have my sympathy, but I'd say just keep taking her to the dentist frequently so you catch the problems early.

The weight is another thing entirely and I have pretty strong feelings about it, since nearly every woman I know has "issues" with food/weight. You don't say how you're trying to get her to gain weight, but I'd highly recommend you not say anything about your concerns to her, and don't allow other people ("concerned" relatives, nosy neighbors, etc) to do so either. 36 pounds for a 5 1/2 year old isn't terribly small. My daughter is 8 1/2 and weighs 40 pounds. My 5 year old boy is 34 pounds. They're near the bottom of the growth charts, but so what? As long as the kid is energetic and reasonably healthy, a low weight is nothing to worry about. The only thing I MIGHT do is reduce the availability of sweets and junk food so they'll be hungry for meals. I just can't believe the problems some (MANY) women have with food. It's really sad, and bugging kids about food or their weight sounds like how some of these problems start (I'm not saying you're bugging your daughter, but LOTS of parents do). If kids are small it's usually genetic. I'd be much more concerned about childhood obesity.

Well, I guess you can see I've got a few opinions on this topic! I have some wonderful, intelligent, fun women friends who have incredible anxieties about food and weight. Listening to them, I'm convinced it starts in childhood. My own kids are small, but I'm much more concerned with their emotional health than with what the scale says.

Best wishes, Sandra

On Mar 27, 2001

Thank you for your feedback. No I have never let her know I want her to gain. My oldest at age 4 was 41 pounds, not fat, just solid only 50% on the growth chart at that. I guess I am just concerned about her my other child being so little. I have always been small, but didn't know if her allergies were affecting her. I am pregnant right now, but normally am 5'3" and 110, my husband is almost 6' and 155. The rest of my family have overweight issues and diet all the time. I have always eaten what I want, however I prefer fresh fruit and veggies for snack, as do my children. Their health has been really good over the last two years we have lived in Florida. My stress levels are very low here.

On Mar 27, 2001

There is a thread called Does PA affect growth potential on the Reactions/Stories board. It had quite a few responses and might answer some of your questions.


[This message has been edited by rebekahc (edited March 27, 2001).]

On Mar 28, 2001

Hi Mom of 4. I am a Dental Hygienist in New Jersey and have been practicing for 18 years. There can be many factors causing your daughters dental problems but it is not her PA. Eventhough she may be eating a healthy diet, carbohydrates turn into sugars in the mouth. The saliva contains an enzyme that causes the breakdown to start orally first. Also there is a misconception that granola bars and raisins are healthy. They are BUT they are very sticky and are actually worse for your teeth than if you ate a chocolate bar. Chocolate melts and doesn't stick. Now of course I am not saying switch the raisins for a piece of cake, but it is important that she brushes after snacks like this.

A few suggestions that might help if your dentist did not recommend them yet. She should be on fluoride vitamins. She should also be brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste. (you stated she uses water. Toms of Maine makes a good natural toothpaste and comes in kid-friendly flavors. I personally recommend Crest or Colgate. plain. Also there is a prescription fluoride toothpaste called Prevident that comes in fruit punch and mint. Ask your dentist if he can give you a prescription for it. We have kids as young as 2 on it. Just becareful Not to overload the toothbrush. Too much fluoride can make her sick to her stomach. I've not had it happen. If you have any other questions you can E-mail me on my profile.

Good Luck and I hope this can help! [img][/img]

On Mar 28, 2001

FYI Mom of 4 My son is 8 and is PA. I didn't want you think I came in this site to lecture! LOL! You know they teach us to do that in dental school. Really if you have any further questions I'll be happy to help if I can.

On Mar 28, 2001

I looked at your profile, and there was no email address available. I would like to ask you some more questions about dental health. my email address is [email][/email]

On Mar 29, 2001

Just FYI, my son is 5 1/2 and weighs about 36 pounds. I consider him skinny, but it's not anything I worry about. My husband and I were both skinny kids. My daughter is catching up to him in weight.

What about more calcium? Would that help with the teeth? I feel so bad for you and your daughter. I am terrified of the dentist, have a mouthful of crowns, but luckily, my son got off to a good start with his first dentist appt. I hope he has his dad's hard teeth. Good luck.