You might have felt your stomach sink in dread when you learned that your little son or daughter has a cavity. But you should know that this is a very common event.
What can you expect? And how can you prepare your child for treatment?
Kids and Cavities
Baby teeth are thinner than adult teeth. This makes them prone to developing cavities. Diet plays a role in your child’s cavity risk. A diet high in acids, sugars, and other carbohydrates will weaken tooth enamel. Young children tend to have a hard time brushing well and avoiding their favorite junk foods! Cavities happen.
Fortunately, some cavities don’t show up until that tooth is ready to fall out. But if the cavity is in an adult tooth or a baby tooth that has many months left, a filling will be necessary.
Your Attitude Makes a Difference!
If you are nervous about the filling appointment, then your child will become unduly more nervous, as well. Treat the appointment as you would any other routine visit and your kid will see that it’s nothing to be afraid of. If you feel that your child will benefit from sedation or specialized pediatric dental care, then that can be arranged.
Be honest and calm in explaining the process to your child. Encourage them to ask questions. Help them to appreciate that this is a good thing that will help their smile stay strong and healthy.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Your dentist will probably recommend preventive treatments such as fluoride and sealants to avoid cavities in the future. Continue to work with your child on improving their oral hygiene routine, and a dental filling will be a rare occasion!
Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
If you’ve ever had a child with a cavity that needed to be filled, you’re probably asked “Why? Isn’t that tooth going to fall out anyway?” This is a wonderful question that most parents have asked to their child’s dentist. While baby teeth are made to eventually fall out, they also play an important role in the development of the permanent tooth forming underneath.
Baby teeth act as a placeholder for the tooth underneath. When a tooth is lost prematurely, the adjacent teeth can shift into the space, making it too small for the underlying tooth to erupt into. This causes crowding or impacted teeth requiring orthodontic intervention to correct. In some cases where the tooth is decayed too badly and must be extracted, a temporary space maintainer should be put in place.
Because baby teeth are less dense than permanent teeth, they decay at a much faster pace. Even a small cavity that is not addressed early on can quickly become an abscessed tooth requiring treatment involving the nerve and the placement of a temporary crown in order to retain the tooth. Early intervention allows treatment to be smaller and less expensive.
When decay is left untreated, it can cause the dental infection to spread into the area of the permanent tooth as well as other areas of the body. In rare cases, dental abscesses that are not treated can contribute to other conditions such as pneumonia, endocarditis and abscesses of the brain.
The best way to prevent severe dental problems in your children’s teeth is to have them checked early on and regularly to address any needs. Young children should be seen by a pediatric dentist. The AAPD recommends a dental screening for your child by age 1 or when the first tooth erupts.
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