When Kids Get Cavities…Here Is What To Expect
Kids & Cavities
Do you remember when you had your first cavity?
Maybe you’ve always been super diligent with your daily dental hygiene regimen and managed to get through your childhood without experiencing a cavity, or the filling to repair it.
If so, you deserve a lollipop!
Just remember to rinse your mouth out with water after eating that sucker, and wait at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth.
For those of you that have had cavities as a kid, or have kids now that may have a cavity or two, we wanted to explain the process of how we go about treating children’s tooth decay – and a few points on how to prevent them.
Kids Get Cavities…And That’s OK
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research most recently reported that about 42% of kids aged 2 to 11 have had primary teeth cavities.
Cavities or dental caries are actually very common in young children, this is one reason why back to school checkups are so important.
Sometimes when kids first hear that they have a cavity it can spark all sorts of fear and dread in their minds.
As a dentist, and speaking for our entire team, we understand that feeling.
We see a lot of adults who suffer from dental anxiety, and the number one thing we can do to alleviate those concerns is to communicate.
And we want you to know, as a parent, that we are here to help you and your child overcome that fear or anxiety.
Long gone are the days where you dentist is always correct, no questions, no discussion. If your child gets a cavity it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent, or that it’s your fault.
And if you or your child are anxious or fearful about treating a cavity – usually with a filling – we promise to explain everything to you & your child about the entire process.
How We Treat Cavities In Children
So your child has been diagnosed with tooth decay, more commonly referred to as a cavity, now what?
The first thing we will do is to assess the situation, we want to find out how bad the cavity is, and whether it’s in a baby tooth or a permanent tooth.
Sometimes when we see cavities in baby teeth, there may be no reason to do a filling since the tooth will be falling out very soon.
In that case, we’ll keep a close eye on the affected tooth to make sure things don’t progress.
If the baby tooth is not close to falling out, then we’ll look to either treat the cavity or remove the tooth altogether.
In that case, we will discuss spacers and other treatment options with you to ensure that when you child’s adult teeth come in with no problems.
In the case of a cavity in a permanent tooth, the decay will first need to be removed, then repaired with a filling.
Dental fillings today are different – better – than when we were kids. As a mercury-free practice, we use Porcelain inlays and Tooth Colored Restorations (onlays) to create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength and durability.
Tooth colored restorations replace silver fillings adding strength to weakened teeth.
These restorations and modern bonding technologies ensure that your child’s repaired teeth are both aesthetically pleasing and durable.
There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth.
Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.
Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay.
The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums.
6 Ways to Prevent Cavities In Kids
The number one thing parents can do to prevent your kids from getting a cavity to visit the dentist every six months.
Preventative care is essential to maintaining optimal oral & overall health, from childhood through adulthood.
Here are six things parents can do to prevent the cavity creeps:
- Visit your dentist every 6 months.
- Brush for at least 2 minutes, in the morning & before bed.
- Floss every single day, show your kids how to do it & do it with them.
- Rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Ask us about dental sealants.
- Limit sugary snacks & drinks between meals & eat a healthy diet.
Getting a cavity is no fun, and despite advancements in technology & comfort, having a cavity filled isn’t any kid’s idea of a good time.
The best way to treat a cavity is to prevent it from happening in the first place!
Friendly Wayne NJ Dentistry for Kids: Frank V. Maldonado, D.D.S.
Dr. Frank Maldonado provides all phases general & family dentistry with expertise treating patients from 1 to 100+! We promise to provide your children with the highest level of comfort and care possible.
Schedule your child’s appointment today by calling us at (973) 694-8625.
Let us give your child a smile they’re happy to share with others.
Compassionate Care. Modern Technology. Exceptional Results.