ealing with a cavity is never pleasant, no matter what age you are. But seeing your child suffer from a cavity can be distressing. However, there are numerous steps you can take to help prevent your child from developing one. According to the CDC, tooth decay is the most common disease among children. Therefore, proper dental care is a must for them.
Crafton dental expert, Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics, examines the most effective methods for preventing and treating cavities in children.
What Causes Cavities in Children?
A Crafton Dental Expert Examines the Most Common Causes and Signs of Cavities
Tooth decay occurs when the tooth enamel, which is the outer surface of the tooth, breaks down or deteriorates. Bacteria and leftover foods that contain sugars and starches can form plaque, which sticks to the teeth and slowly eats away the tooth enamel.
When the tooth enamel breaks down and decays, this can lead to cavities or holes in your child’s teeth. As the cavity progresses, it will affect the nerve and blood vessels of the damaged tooth.
Factors That Increase Your Child’s Risk of Developing Cavities
All children have bacteria in their mouths, which puts them at risk of tooth decay and cavities. In fact, more than one in every four children has had at least one cavity by the age of four. However, some children are at a higher risk of developing cavities due to their diets or unique health problems. These risk factors include:
- Following a diet that is high in sugars and starch
- Engaging in poor oral hygiene, such as skipping toothbrushing or forgetting to floss one’s teeth
- Experiencing a lower amount of saliva flow than usual; saliva is important for preventing dry mouth and flushing away cavity-causing particles.
- Drinking water with little to no fluoride
Symptoms of Tooth Decay in Children
Cavities do not always cause symptoms in children. Sometimes, a child won’t know that they have a cavity until a dentist spots it. However, there are some signs you can look out for:
- Pain around the tooth
- Sensitivity to certain foods and temperatures
- White spots forming on the teeth indicate that the enamel has started to break down
- Light brown to dark brown spots on the teeth
Diagnosing and Treating Cavities in Children
Your Child’s Treatment Plans Depends on How Severe the Cavity Is
A dentist will review your child’s dental history and also perform an oral exam to see if they have any cavities. During the exam, the dentist will probe your child’s teeth with special dental instruments. The dentist may also take a dental x-ray to examine your child’s teeth.
Different Types of Treatments for Cavities in Children
Your child’s treatment plan will vary according to the severity of their cavity. If your dentist catches the cavity soon enough, they may be able to reverse its development through remineralization. Remineralization occurs when a dentist uses a fluoride treatment to restore a patient’s tooth enamel. By restoring their tooth enamel, the dentist can help protect their patient against cavities.
Unfortunately, not all cavities can be fixed through remineralization. Sometimes, the dentist will have to restore the tooth through either direct or indirect restorations.
- Direct Restoration: Through a direct restoration, a dentist will remove the decay from a tooth before filling it in with silver alloy, porcelain, acrylic acids, or composite resin. These fillings are usually tooth-colored in order to help them maintain a normal appearance. Direct restoration can be performed in one visit.
- Indirect Restoration: Indirect restorations typically require at least two separate appointments. Common indirect restorations include inlays, onlays, dentures, crowns, and bridges.
If a tooth is too damaged to be restored, the dentist will have to extract it completely. Dealing with a cavity is never fun. However, there are numerous steps you and your child can take to significantly reduce the risk of developing one.
Crafton Dental Provider Gives Tips on Preventative Care Against Cavities
Learning Proper Dental Hygiene is Imperative for Preventing Cavities
Dealing with the dentist is almost never fun for your child. To keep dental visits at a minimum, there are numerous strategies you can employ to keep your child’s teeth healthy and free of cavities.
As soon as your child’s teeth start to appear, you should begin brushing them twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. After your child turns two, you should teach them how to floss. Make sure your child is also following a well-balanced diet that limits unhealthy snacks that are high in sugar. You should also bring your child twice a year for their dental check-ups.
Your local Crafton dental professional is here to assist you. If your child is suffering from tooth decay or cavities, you should take them to a dentist immediately. Contact the team at Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics today to schedule an appointment.