Toddlers Undergoing General Anesthesia Dental Care

by Nicole Hempeck on March 29, 2021

I stumbled across an article the other day about toddlers undergoing general anesthesia for dental care because when the doctor took X-rays, they showed…

… that 11 of his 20 baby teeth had cavities. Then his pediatric dentist extracted two incisors, performed a root canal on a molar, and gave the rest fillings and crowns.

Come again?!

The kid was TWO.

They quoted the mother saying that she didn’t make teeth brushing a priority until they started noticing discoloration at 18 months.

So, I will admit, my toddlers do not get regular brushings at night. It’s a big job to get toddlers to do that - so I totally feel her pain. We’ve only been to the dentist once and that was because we had a small trauma due to a toddling-new-walker fall. So, when I read this article, it honestly freaked me out a bit.

But then I thought, this particular scenario had to have some extenuating circumstances like a mix of some bad genetics, because that does play a role in dental care - we all do have some predisposition.

I also have to wonder if this had a bit to do with dietary factors. I am very mindful of what goes into the mouths of my children; the twins have yet to eat a piece of candy and they have had cake twice - on their first and second birthday’s. So, sugar is at a minimum. My kids don’t drink juice, they drink water and milk, so I know that I’m lessening our chances of major dental complications just through our daily choices.

But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say we started brushing every night since I read this article and there is now a dental checkup on the books for the toddlers in the house.

When did you start taking our children to the dentist? How do you get your young ones to get a good brushing in?

Photo: Fatherspoon Flickr

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

busy kids=happy mom March 29, 2021 at 5:14 am

I remember when my first son was 3.5 and someone told me I should have taken him to the dentist as soon as he turned 3. I felt so bad! The dentist wasn’t worried and said a lot of it depends on the child! I did hear that juice is the main source of cavities in young children.

Adventures In Babywearing March 29, 2021 at 5:21 am

My third son just got through some very extensive dental work (he’s 6 but has had issues since his teeth came in.) He had no enamel on his teeth, and has severe food allergies. It really wasn’t anything we could control with brushing, etc. His teeth were breaking and just wearing down. One dentist did recommend the anesthesia with surgery, but we found one that would do all the work in-office over several visits. He’s all fixed up now and his new teeth are already coming in! (So I’m also glad we didn’t go with the 1st dentist’s proposal to fit him with temporary teeth because his new teeth were already coming in! That would have been a big waste of $)


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm March 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

My oldest had acid reflux really badly, so we started him at the dentist at age 2. At 4, he had a cavity, but we’ve just been flossing it really carefully and the dentist keeps an eye on it - eventually he’ll lose the tooth and hopefully before it would ever need to be filled.

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