My 3-year-old twins have cavities: Advice?

Our two three-year-olds (yes, twins) have some cavities in between a few of their front teeth and are having them filled soon. Their dentist originally suggested we have them put under general anesthesia for the procedures because of the location of the cavities and age of the kiddos, but we’re wondering if that’s really the only viable option. My husband and I would prefer to avoid such an intense form of sedation because both kids really love the dentist and are so patient and well behaved every time we go, and general anesthesia comes with so many more risks. So for parents who’ve had their toddlers get cavities filled, what sedation options did you have, and what did your dentist use? I just want to add that we’re already ashamed and feel guilty for them having cavities in the first place. They shouldn’t have had so many sugary snacks, and we should’ve been more strict on brushing twice a day AND flossing. We know this was our screw up, so if you want to harp on us, just please don’t.


I’d get a second opinion, just to make sure especially if you’re having doubts


My daughter who is 18 now went under at 3 years old its scary but they will be fine

Laughing gas is a good option

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If they’re just gonna lose the teeth anyway, why fill the cavities? I mean, are the kids in pain? If not, I’d leave them and wait for them to fall out naturally. Front teeth usually are some of the first to go. And monitor their diet.

I’d definitely go with sedation!!

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There was a dentist who was local to my area and he was known for putting kids under and doing unnecessary procedures and not doing things he said he was, along with drinking on the job and being unnecessarily rough with small children. I always get a second opinion


They will probably will put them to sleep since there so young in age it will be okay

Why would they do anyrhing those teerh r going to fall out


Been there…mom guilt sucks. Our only option was general anesthesia even though my daughter too loved the dentist (still does) and never had issues with going. I was nervous giving the possibilities that could happen but we didn’t really have another option. The dentist was so good to keep me posted throughout and given how she felt afterwards I truly think general anesthesia was the best option.

I had Cavities filled at age 4. I am an Epileptic. I was not sedated.

Look into silver diamine or check if your local hospital (and insurance coverage) will allow you to do the procedure there.

My 2nd son had to do this procedure cause once one cavity popped up ( a little dot) it spread like wild fire but he never was good at the dentist… now next week my 3rd son has to go for the same thing but his tooth decay is a bit worse (on quite a few molars…) although you can blame yourself, our dentist also assured us that it’s so easy for milk teeth to get cavities because their enamel is so soft… we now supplement daily with vitamin d3 and k2 in drops plus a multi vitamin as well. So far my 3rd son hasn’t had any problem with cavities

My son had a cavity filled when he was 6 and they used laughing gas. Worked out great…

We got a second opinion and ended up finding someone who did laughing gas. My daughter loved it and asked for more :joy::joy:

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Do not let him pull those out. My dentist did that to me as a child and I now have a narrow roof in my mouth where I can barely fit my pinky finger in it.

They sedated my 6 yr old and he did great! Most of the time they use versed and they don’t remember anything! Nothing wrong with it but if you don’t treat the teeth then it can do the same to the tooth next to it!

Having the cavities filled may cause more fear than having them put under sedation. My son has autism and cannot tolerate the noise of the drill, all of his dental work is done under sedation. He has not had any problems with it.


From experience they wont love it if you dont …

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Get a second opinion!!

My son was about 4 I think when he was put under for fillings and crowns. He did just fine. They will probably make you see the pediatrician first to ensure that the kiddos can handle the anesthesia.

We went for my daughter to be put under because then she wouldn’t remember such a crapoy thing to have done I think its easer for them to be put under I had a second opinion done they said the same thing because of the age and some kids if they like going to the dentist getting a cavity filled is traumatic for them but it’s your choice in the end

Honestly there are other reasons besides sugary snacks for your kids to get cavities. As for the dentist, get a 2nd opinion. The truth is no matter the circumstances it is hard for a 3 year old to sit still and fixing cavities is not a 2 minute job!

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Girl run and get a second opinion. We had this happen to my then 5 year old due to needing “too many” cavities filled. It was supposed to be done in two appointments we went to the first and never returned. Found a new dentist and discovered she didn’t even have any cavities to fill for a second round of treatment. It’s a major issue in the dental world right now! They scam you for insurance money when your child doesn’t even need anything done or that severe. I just learned that most practices have a quota they have to meet by the end of the month!


Don’t feel guilty, sometimes you can do everything right and still be prone to cavities because of genetics, like me. With that being said, I would seek out a second opinion from another dentist, they generally do use anethisea for young children just because they have to sit still and and be very patient which is an unfair expectation for a toddler.


We used laughing gas with my daughter. She also had cavities (she’s 4 now) & they were worried because they thought she wouldn’t sit still. She does fine as long as dad is there. Just gotta have a patient dentist.

Just remember the sound and that you were somewhat aware of what was happening the put them out so they won’t be afraid! Would you have a filling filled without anything?

I tried with mine and ended up having to do general anestesia she was to wiggly no matter how many times I said put your hands down or Quit trying to talk or moving your toung where there trying to work lmao she was just to young… she was 2.5 if I remember right.

My son just had the same thing i get, the topical numbing to numb the surface, than the needle. He never had a problem, and has no fear of the dentist after getting filings. His first one was at 3.5 i believe. Our dentist just had the stuff to put him under in office, and kind of just tried the numbing way first and if my son wanted to be asleep he would switch and do it that way, but in the end my son refused to be put under and did fine


They dont want the kids to jump or move. They’re very delicate at that age and one wrong move with a dental drill could do decent damage.

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My kid had this done and it was fine, at the hospital here they let you get into bed with your child when they wake up, let them cuddle with you and then let them sleep in your arms until they wake again later!

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Depends how bad the cavities are those teeth gona fall out ? And the only other option is lots of novicane shots

If you have their cavities filled when they are awake they will most likely hate the dentist afterwards

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My four year old did fine getting his cavity filled. And didn’t get sedated. My seven year old had to get a cap on and the worst part for her was the shot. I think it depends on what the dentist thinks they themselves are able to handle

My daughter received laughing gas, but shes extremely laid back and doesn’t panick

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Just to be on the safe side I would get a second opinion my son just went to the dentist and they said he had 5 cavities! I said no there is no way we have been taking such good care of his teeth since his last appointment because the did cavity work and it broke our hearts to see him go through that I refused to have his sedated. Anyways we took him to have a second and third opinion and both of them said they do not see 5 cavities they didnt even see one!


My youngest son had cavities when he was 3. Our dentist said they may have to put him under GA. However, the day came and he sat so well through the prep phase they chose to try without it. He did fantastic with the shot and laughing gas. Even I was shocked how well he just sat there and let them do what they needed to do.

Also, don’t feel so terrible about it, kids get cavities for various reasons. My kids drink water and brush their teeth religiously. He still got cavities.

My daughter got the laughing gas… given she was six I think but it might be worth looking into.

Flossing doesnt help to reduce cavities. Less sugar and less milk. Seriously. All flossing does its remove left over gunk that brushing doesnt get too. :joy::joy::joy: some people…yikes

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I never allowed any of my children to be put under anesthesia for fillings at any age. I also would refuse the gas as well. However, my kids have always loved the dentist so none of that extra stuff was necessary.

I had to do this with both my kids. My oldest we had to do it when he was 1 and my youngest was 2. It wasn’t easy to decide to do it. And it was definitely scary to think of them being so young and sedated but with our dentist I felt was very well prepared, they had extra trained staff in the room monitoring my youngest, they kept me in the loop with what was going on and everything went fine. My oldest’s procedure was done 15 years ago and because of his age, they actually did the procedure in the hospital. Again he was closely monitored and everything was fine. Their teeth have been stellar since.

One of my kids had this issue and I took her to a pediatric dentist about two hours away. They used what they called conscious sedation. Not general anesthesia but she was still sedated.

One doc wanted to do the same thing but also to cap his teeth. I went for a second opinion elsewhere and the doc filled the cavities with laughing gas. Had zero problems. He sat still and they had tv for him to watch while it was happening.


My 3 year old just got put under and cavities filled this morning. She was emotional after but shes sleeping it off now and is fine. Either way dental work sucks and from what i was told by my daughters dentist is that general anesthesia is way safer than any gas because it can be safely regulated unlike gas.

3 year olds do not have the ability to sit still. Especially for something like that. Sedation is for safety and comfort. It’s a short period of time and children tolerate it well.


I personally would get a second opinion. Two of my kiddos had to get fillings and they only used laughing gas as a sedative. And I was able to be in the room each time. It’s so easy to blame yourselves but don’t. Also check out getting electric toothbrushes. My kiddos love them and love to brush their teeth since we made the switch. Our kids are 2,3, 5 and 7.

Gas before also they have had them drink some meds before. I didn’t let them get put under like that so young and for this. My son has ASD and still only gets the gas.

My 3 year old has a cavity in between his front teeth due to it being in a tough to reach area when I brush, and we were referred to a specialist the day they tried to do his filling because he wasn’t compliant with the anesthesia. Went to the specialist, they did xrays and an evaluation and said one little cavity like that wasn’t enough for him to go under anesthesia like that. If it were more than three or four at his age then it may have been necessary but he said anesthesia for one filling like that is pretty aggressive for someone his age ! I would definitely see a specialist and get their opinion especially if they just have one cavity !

My daughter had cavities filled and a cap put on one of her molars when she was 3. They had her drink this little cocktail that was a cross between laughing gas and sedation. I don’t remember what they called it. She was awake but she was sleepy and loopy. It wore off within a few hours and they just advised keeping an eye on her post-procedure. Don’t feel guilty, it’s a bear to get kids’ teeth fully cleaned sometimes and genetics and such that are out of your control play a part too. Our dentist just advised against fruit chews and chewy candies because it’s hard for little kids to get that gunk out of their teeth and it just cements itself in there.

My daughter is 3 and got a tooth pulled three weeks ago, she had laughing gas and Novacaine shot and it went great.

My 3 year old just has some work done. They gave him some liquid drink (like a benedryl) to mellow him out and then gave him “laughing gas” he was totally fine. There are other options besides being put under.

I don’t care what anyone says, I said absolutely not. We went to a pediatric dentist last year and my then 3 year old did great for the cleaning and x-rays. Then she immediately started talking about doing all 6 fillings in one go under anesthesia at the hospital. I said no. Then she started to try and talk me into it and got really condescending. Left, never went back. Found a different dentist and my son did great. They broke down the visits and got them all done with laughing gas.

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Getting cavities isn’t due just to having too many sugary snacks. It has a lot to do with the amount of enamal your kids have on their teeth. It has a lot to do with heredity, also. I would talk to your dr & sée what else thsy can do besides put them under. It may be something new i am unaware of. But if thats what your dr.says then do it. I would. It will be over with and they will be happy, healthy kids again.

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Depending on how large the cavity is why not see if they can do without freezing or anything. My step daughters for two small ones filled without anything, and it didn’t even hurt. They thought it was just a cleaning.

My 4 year old had 2 cavities filled in 1 sitting. 1 right on the front of her top front tooth and another towards the back on the bottom and just had laughing gas. Then her filling in the back abscessed and she had to have it pulled and had a space maintainer put in and just had the laughing gas again. My oldest had caps put on and fillings done and teeth pulled and never had more than laughing gas either. Except they did give her a valium when she had her cap put on. I’d say the general anesthesia is a bit much in my opinion. My kids also love the dentist and do fine when we go. Always have.

We have genetic teeth issues… all of my boys went under as little kids about that age… definitely recommend going that route.

If you think they can sit still then do it the way you want.

No! Putting them to sleep is not at all necessary for this. Laughing gas is completely suitable for something like this. If you got a 2nd opinion I’m sure they’d tell you not to put them to sleep.

I let them put my kids under when they had cavities filled at 3&5. They have to keep their mouth open for a pretty long time, my kids were “in surgery” for about an hour, hour and a half, back to back. My son had 2 cavities at 5yrs, my daughter had 3 at 3yrs. Dental work can take while I just wanted them to be comfortable, they aren’t scared if the dentist either but it’s all around uncomfortable to have cavities filled and all the stuff they use is loud. Idk. I wanted my kids put under I didn’t want them to be scared

My oldest had dental work done around 4 or 5 years old. She was put under and it only took about an hour. She has never had any resentment or anything and still does great at the dentist. I had the same concerns and discussed it in depth with the dentist (different options, etc). It was the best we could come up with for our situation. It was done at a different location and the biggest issue we had was her not wanting to wear a pull up while she was under because she was a big girl. I have videos of her coming out of the sedation and they were hilarious (inappropriate, I know, but it’s true). In her mind she just took a REALLY good nap lol.

My son who was 3 at the time had to be put under since he was terrified of the dentist and the amount of work he needed done but it was something I definitely thought about for a bit before agreeing to it and had there been a different option for us I would not have had him go under for it

Having your teeth cleaned and having cavities filled are two very different things. They can’t just stop mid full because your children have had enough of the drilling noise.

My daughter had sedated work done for the same reason, cavities. Some children have poor enamel. It’s not all your fault.


My oldest had cavities and so did my youngest at 2 the oldest tried laughing gas, that didn’t work for him as it made him very anxious, he later had to have general anesthesia. My little had cavities and crowns put on with laughing gas and a drink that put him under mild sedation in the office, he did great. Both my boys had acid reflux. This might be something to look into as he acid eats away at the enamel while sleeping! No shame mama :heart::heart:

My 9 year old had caps put on his back teeth and had his 4 top front teeth pulled at 2 years old. He was put under general anesthesia and did fine with it. A 2 hour procedure at most and I was so nervous but he was fine and was ok within a day or two.

Mine had cavities really young, they advised she be put under because even though she loved the dentist, getting them drilled and filled could be traumatic on her young self, making her no longer like the dentist.

Getting cavities dealt with can be scary, though, they do use a drill to get gunk off the cavity before filling. Its a different experience from a normal checkup or cleaning. General anesthesia can be scary for kids that age, I get it, but a dental drill could be terrifying for a toddler and you don’t want them fidgeting around with that near their mouth. I would probably go with the dentist’s recommendation myself. They have trained anesthesiologists for these situations to keep everything as safe and comfortable as possible.

I think not. If anything sweet air would be the way to go.

My daughter did not need to be sedated for her filling. I would get a second opinion from a pediatric dentist!

Just wanted offer some support in a relatable experience. Our 14 year old has great teeth! Our 8 year old is a different story. At 5 we encouraged milk before bed with no teeth brushing and bam…cavities. Had her teeth filled while under general anaesthesia. They got in there and saw how bad it was and pulled 2 teeth. We were heart broken. So was she. We never agreed to having that done. What can you do though. I’m not a dentist I dont know. We still have major guilt about the condition of her teeth. Just wanted you to know you are not alone.:two_hearts::two_hearts::two_hearts::two_hearts:

Girl don’t beat yourself up about the cavities. They are genetic so it’s not necessarily your fault hun.

My family has crappy teeth my kids brush every day but they got my teeth poor kids Imy children have all been put to sleep to have work done on their teeth it was so much quicker and easier

I work for an old-school dentist. We recently had a little girl come in with a bunch of cavities and she had just turned 3 a couple weeks before. He filled all her teeth (in multiple visits) using novocaine (and topical anesthetic applied prior). This kid was awesome, no tears at all for the injections until the 2nd to last visit. He saved the most painful injection spot (right in the front) so she wasn’t afraid to come back. The last visit she didn’t want the shot of novocaine so he attempted without and she was great. It’s possible, it just depends on the kid and the dentist. Also, some kids do better without their parents present in the room (we give the parent the choice)

My four year old grandson just had two cavities filled, the dentist used the laughing gas mask, he did great! No problems with it or afterwards! Goodluck

Having worked in the dental field general dentistry, for over 10 years (senior dental assistant), I have NEVER worked with a dentist that had to sedate a child to do fillings! Especially children of such a young age. If they like their dentist and the office has nice distractions, tv, headphones, sunglasses etc. I would recommend you go with just a shot. They both should be just fine. You as the parents need to remain calm and steady as the kids can and will feed off your anxiety so do your best to stay calm that goes ALONG way! From the things I have seen in the office sedation is good in some cases however it does cause a lot of stress for these little ones as they don’t understand it even when it’s explained several times, so my recommendation is if your worried or deeply concerned get a second opinion, if your still unhappy or unsure remember it’s ultimately your decision as the parents on what you’d like to have done never mind what they tell you, you have to do. Y,ou know your children and what they can tolerate.
Also, for your peace of mind dental offices do not have quota’s they must keep, that’s ridiculous to even think that way! I have worked for several different offices and have NEVER heard of such a thing!
Being a parent isn’t always easy but rest assured taking care of this issue while they are young is the best possible outcome for all. If you trust your dentist and you agree with them then you should be able to make a good informed decision as the parent, and if the dentist has a good staff they will take good care of your children.

My daughter chipped a tooth that the dentist kept putting off fixing. Until 2 months ago when she went for a routine visit and they figured out (I already had a suspicion) that there was a cavity where the tooth chipped. Now this was between two of her top front teeth. They asked if i wanted her knocked out and i said not unless necessary. She took it like a champ and was absolutely ecstatic about her “new tooth”. The area they fixed was smaller than the tip of a pen. The dentist herself admitted that if it had been taken care of the first time, it wouldn’t have turned into a cavity. It was basically a feel good moment for me, because while I do make both my kids brush and floss at least twice a day, they make questionable choices :joy:

Dont feel bad, some kids are born with naturally porous teeth, my gfs son had his 4 front teeth removed (baby teeth) because they litterally grew in rotton and were hurting him, and she is a firm believer in natural foods low sugar and high nutritional values etc, I would have them go under ga just because if they were awake they might lose the plot being so young and having a person that much in their faces, and then the dentist will be able to get them in and out quick as can be with little interferance with their gums etc so as little pain as possible…
I feel for ya cause decisions like this suck but you know at the end of the day what ever you choose babies teeth are going to be fixed


At that age it’s really the safest way. My son had to have the same thing done for a couple cavities at age 3 and it went really well. He was tired and slept a good portion of the day and has no fear of going to the dentist

I personally would have them asleep when it’s done , having a huge hand in the mouth at their age and feeling everything happening is more dramatic at their age then it should be. It’s to scary for a child especially since they dont comprehend why its happening in first place . But sugar anything is a issue with every child. My little sister had nearly all her teeth rotted out by 3 years old becuz my mom allowed her to keep the bottle and sleep with it in her mouth alot and that was just milk. But it happens to alot of families so no judgment from me. Just remember all kids are different and will react differently with something like this

My daughter had teeth filled and caps at 2, they did it Detroit Childrens Hospital, I has to give her a medicine when we left for appt and again when got there, made her a little loopy, but she did fine

Front teeth are usually hard to get cavities in.
Second opinion unless they drink and sleep with a bottle or sippy.

Sometimes it not a sugar issue, my daughters teeth were destroyed by antibiotics bc of ear infections before they decided to remove adnoids and tubes in ears

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Best dentist Dr Richards in corona my grandson at 18 months went under to have teeth fixed he put him his moms lap feel asleep and then when he woke up was in his moms lap never new a thing would never go anywhere else for kids

Cavities are not the end of the world babes

I personally wouldn’t go ahead with the GA for my kids. When I was a child, i had a sedation in a cup of orange juice for to have my teeth removed x

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My daughter had to go under to get her s filled and she is fine

I wouldnt do GA. My son had some cavities where he needed caps. Come to.find out we rinsed after he did his inhaler but then we would brush. Which no one told me was a no no. Your supposed to wait ten minutes after the inhaler and rinsing. They put sugar in the inhaler and when you brush you literally brush the sugar into your teeth the dentist told me. Since we started waiting no cavities. I felt like a shitty mom but there are so many reason they happen. But he was great he was patient and they were quick. I wouldnt risk GA. He had his tonsil out and it was tough on him. Good luck!

My son had 4 cavities. (Age 4) He has the biggest sweet tooth and will sneak anything he can find.

They were only able to fill one while he was awake. We did the anesthesia which was just a simple shot in the arm and I held him for the few minutes he was still awake. Filled the cavities and called me back. Super quick. He woke up a little confused and dizzy. He slept on the way home. Wanted to eat when we got home, took a nap, and went Trick or Treating that same night.
I had anesthesia for my wisdom teeth removal. My other son was put under at 3mo. for scopes in the hospital.
If your twins tolerate the fillings while awake, you may need several trips to get them all filled. But it’s worth the try before making the decision. Every kid is different after all.

My daughter has this same thing they put her asleep o that way she’s not fighting or moving around n theirs no possiblity she could get hurt

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My daughter had to have 2 teeth capped because she fell and the broke. They did numb her mouth and gave her something lite. She was awake but couldnt feel anythung and really couldn’t move. They had to shave down both front teeth because they had broke all up in her gums and then capped both. She was back to herself after about an hour or 2. They never even suggested putting her to sleep

I would say put down… if they are going between teeth it’s much more intense and to be honest a few cavities will take probably 1.5 hrs to fill. I had 4 filled and my mouth was so sore and tired from holding open. It will change their view on the dentist and not like it after that experience. Sedation is not

If you have to do it then yoy have to to do it

It isn’t easy to brush and floss toddlers teeth especially two of them. Don’t be too hard on yourselves

Don’t beat yourself up. My son was put under to get some fillings and they just did the laughing gas the dentist told me she didn’t want my son to start fearing going to the dentist and if the child has to be held down for the dentist to get their work done it’s just going to be a negative experience for everyone.

If they’re anything like my son I would suggest going under general anesthesia. My boy HATES the dentist and would not open his mouth enough for them to even put the thing that holds it open in there. No way was he going to sit still with all the noise. We’re changing dentist because his refuses to do the anesthesia because it’s only one cavity and said it can wait until he’s old enough to sit still for them.

When my daughter was 6 she had her first cavity and her dentist thought it would be best to keep her awake for it because she too was very well behaved for the dentist, I would see someone else if i were you. Why have them put out if it isn’t necessary, I completely understand your worries and if there’s a dentist willing to try and to it with them awake I’d totally go that route. Best of luck mama❤

It’s okay Mama , sometimes things happen. We learn from our mistakes.

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It might not have been something you did or didn’t do, it could be inherited


Take them to dentist

I got a second opinion and switched dentists for my 5 year old she did just fine with a laughing gas

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Are they bad enough to be filled ? When I had cavities my dentist just advised to wait for my baby teeth to fall out since new ones were gonna grow in. I’m not sure if having them be put under anthesia is the best thing.

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