Devon Koester, age 2 ½, getting anesthesia at the Center for Pediatric Dentistry in Seattle
for an operation that included a root canal. Photo: Stuart Isett.
In the surgical wing of the Center for Pediatric Dentistry at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Devon Koester, 2 ½ years old, was resting last month in his mother’s arms as an anesthesiologist held a bubble-gum-scented mask over his face to put him under. The doctors then took X-rays, which 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...There are more details at the New York Times, including recommendations for good dental health in preschoolers (all of it basic common sense).
Dentists offer a number of reasons so many preschoolers suffer from such extensive dental decay. Though they are not necessarily new, they have combined to create a growing problem: endless snacking and juice or other sweet drinks at bedtime, parents who choose bottled water rather than fluoridated tap water for their children, and a lack of awareness that infants should, according to pediatric experts, visit a dentist by age 1... And because some toddlers dislike tooth-brushing, some parents do not enforce it...
“It’s not just about kids in poverty... Affluent families may have nannies who “pacify kids by giving them a sippy cup all day,” Dr. Lindemeyer said.