Do Your Kids Need Cavity Treatment?
Uh-oh! One of your kids has a cavity, and you need to find treatment in a hurry. Whether your child’s cavity is in a baby tooth or a permanent tooth, it is important to get it fixed quickly. Untreated cavities not only cause pain and sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks, but they can also lead to some serious health problems.
Cavity Treatments for Children
Once it is determined that your child has a cavity, his or her dentist will likely recommend that they get a filling. The main types of fillings used in children are:
- Plastic — This type is tooth colored, so it blends in with the tooth more than a metal filling.
- Metal — This type of filling has been used for many years, and has a long history of successful cavity treatment.
Your child's dentist can help you decide which type of filling is best. However, if your kid’s tooth is severely decayed, their dentist may suggest a dental crown or root canal.
What Causes Cavities in Children?
Lack of dental care is not the only reason for cavities in kids. While brushing, flossing and visiting a dentist can help prevent cavities from forming, diet and genetics are also factors.
These actions can also help your child maintain a cavity-free smile:
- Eating a healthy diet. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, “Every time we eat or drink something that contains sugar or starches, bacteria in our mouth use the sugar and starch to produce acids. These acids begin to eat away at the tooth’s enamel.”
Tip: Limit your child’s snacking, avoid sugary foods and fruit juice and encourage your child to brush his or her teeth after eating.
- Not swallowing toothpaste. Swallowing fluoride toothpaste can lead to dental fluorosis, which are harmless (but permanent) white flecks that appear on teeth.
Tip: Until your kids are seven or eight years old, monitor them while they brush, and explain the importance of spitting out their toothpaste. In children younger than two years old, consider using a fluoride-free toothpaste, unless otherwise directed by your dentist.
- Regularly seeing the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends dental checkups twice a year for most children. During a checkup, the dentist may take x-rays, check your child’s gums for changes and clean your child’s teeth.
Tip: When your child’s permanent molars come in (usually between ages five and seven), consider getting dental sealants to help protect them from decay.
Where to Get Your Kid's Cavity Treated
Kool Smiles dental offices are built specifically for children, and our staff of highly trained dental professionals can help you choose the best cavity treatment for your kids. We will also provide instructions to make sure your child remains healthy after having their cavity treated. Call (855) 854-3621 or find a Kool Smiles near you to make an appointment!
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/OralHealthInformation/ChildrensOralHealth/ToothDecayProcess.htm