Small Hole inside of a Tooth

When you develop a small hole in the side of your tooth as a result of tooth decay, you have a cavity. Your child may or may not experience pain with tooth decay, so it’s important to have his or her teeth checked by a dentist twice a year.

Here are some common facts about what causes cavities and how they are treated.

What Is a Cavity?

Cavities, or dental caries, are formed when too much plaque builds up on teeth. When your child eats sugary foods or carbonated beverages, bacteria makes acid that clings to the plaque on his or her teeth.

Without a daily routine of brushing and flossing, the food stuck between the teeth can erode the protective layer called enamel.

When the enamel in your child’s tooth is eaten away, bacteria can cause the exposed tooth to decay. The hole that forms is a cavity. When a cavity opens up the tooth, more food and bacteria can get trapped inside where the tooth meets the gums.

This can cause an infection, lead to lots of pain, and put your child’s health at risk. Dentists, like the oral care professionals at Kool Smiles, believe that good hygiene is the key to avoiding cavities.

What Causes Cavities?

Common causes of cavities include:

  • Eating sugary foods and drinks
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Poor oral hygiene and lack of brushing
  • Frequent snacking
  • Bedtime infant feeding
  • Not enough fluoride
  • Dry mouth
  • Age

How to Treat the Small Hole in the Side of a Tooth

When a hole is formed in the side of your child’s tooth, you must treat the area by removing the decay and filling the hole. In severe cases, the tooth must be removed completely. Common treatments for cavities include fillings, crowns, and root canals—all performed by a dental professional.

Early Prevention Tips

You can easily prevent tooth decay by practicing good oral hygiene. Once a cavity forms, however, there’s no way to reverse the damage naturally. Visit your dentist twice a year for routine checkups.

Once your child’s primary teeth emerge at six months, start brushing his or her teeth and forming good habits. A baby should see a dentist before he or she turns one year old.

Visit Kool Smiles Today

Where can you find affordable, quality care at the first signs of tooth decay? The professional staff at Kool Smiles dentistry has been helping children fight cavities and more since 2002. Not only that, but Kool Smiles is dedicated to community outreach and education about practicing good oral hygiene.

With over 120 locations, we accept Medicaid, TRICARE, and SCHIP to meet your budget. Uninsured? Ask a Kool Smiles representative about our payment options. Call us today to schedule a visit.

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Sources:

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR): http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/FindDataByTopic/DentalCaries/DentalCariesChildren2to11.htm

NIDCR: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/OralHealthInformation/ChildrensOralHealth/ToothDecayProcess.htm