All children eventually lose their teeth. But that doesn’t mean you can get away with not taking proper care. After all, they need their existing teeth to survive until they develop adult teeth. Also, proper oral hygiene helps adult teeth grow properly and with sufficient room. That is why oral hygiene is necessary once your baby’s teeth begin to develop. Teach them about oral care from a young age. However, in spite of your best efforts to ensure proper dental hygiene, kids often end up with cavities. Treating cavities in children requires a professional touch.
Which Children Suffer from Tooth Decay?
According to dentists, every child has bacteria in his/her mouth, putting them at risk of tooth decay. However, the following factors can increase the risks significantly:
- High levels of cavity-causing bacteria
- Diet rich in starches and sugars
- Poor oral hygiene
- Reduced saliva flow
- Water supply with limited or zero fluoride
- A dentist normally diagnoses cavities based on:
- Comprehensive history of the child
- Dental x-rays
- Examination of child’s mouth cavity
Cavity symptoms vary from one kid to the other. Cavities do not always show symptoms. In some cases, children may not be aware of the presence of cavities until a dentist locates the problem. However, most children experience:
- Sensitivity to specific foods, like hot or cold or sweet drinks
- Pain in area around the teeth
Timely treatment is an effective way to nip this health problem in the bud before it becomes more severe. Dental doctors can help children deal with the problem of cavities. So, if you have reason to believe that your child is suffering from cavities or the condition has been brought to your attention, please schedule an appointment with a good dentist at once. These licensed medical professionals will draw up an effective plan of treatment consisting of the following:
Fillings for Baby Teeth
Dentists prefer to drill out the cavities from the child’s teeth and fill or crown them as per the severity of the condition. These teeth do not last forever but proper fillings are necessary so that the adult teeth come in shapely and even. Without the right fillings for the baby teeth, your child may lose primary teeth before their adult teeth are ready to come out and that is never a good thing.
Fillings to Keep Tooth Decay Away
Similar to adult teeth, the teeth fillings meant for babies are composed of either metal or white composite. The other filling and crown materials, such as ceramic and gold, are rarely used as fillings for kids. Metal fillings in particular are a great choice since they do not take too long to put in and cost a lot less than the composite fillings.
Of course, there are many children who do not like the way that metal fillings look. But they are the most cost-effective option available for teeth that will eventually fall out with age. Also, it’s a good idea to check what sort of health coverage covers teeth fillings for your child’s cavities.
A DDS is going to drill the cavity from your kid’s baby teeth if required. Based on the level of severity the cavity has caused, the dentist is going to fill the tooth or create a crown. Kids must have good oral hygiene while caring for crowns or fillings, irrespective of whether the repairs have been performed on permanent teeth or baby teeth.
Prevent Recurrence of Cavities
Although dentists work very hard to fix all the cavity problems experienced by your child, it may sometimes be a recurring issue. Teeth that have cavities between them, even those with fillings and decay removal, have a higher possibility of cavity recurrence than teeth that have cavities on the exposed surface. Once the decay comes back, the dentist must replace the filling or take care of the new decay by refilling the tooth.
Fillings and Crowns for Trauma
Cavities are not the only reason why teeth decay and kids require fillings. If any kind of trauma has affected the teeth and resulted in cracks, dentists may recommend fillings. Common reasons for filling of baby teeth include underdeveloped teeth, incorrectly shaped teeth, and teeth that have become chipped. Dentists tend to go for crowns on both the front and the back teeth rather than fillings. This is because crowns offer more comprehensive coverage to the misshapen or damaged tooth than a regular filling can.
Need for Extraction
The preservation of baby teeth is a key aspect of the dental care of kids. The reason involves maintaining sufficient amount of space so that the adult teeth can come in without any hassle. But if the decay is quite advanced and results in gum issues or pain for the child, extraction is the most practical option. There are several dentists who prefer to fill the gap where the extracted baby tooth was taken out with a prosthetic so that the correct space is maintained and the adult tooth has come in.
Use of Laughing Gas
While kids are getting their cavities filled, dental doctors often choose to use nitrous oxide, also commonly known as laughing gas. This is a great way to reduce anxiety and distract kids from the pain that comes from getting the novocaine shot in the gums and getting their teeth drilled. The sensation that comes from the application of nitrous oxide does not always work for every kid. The dentist may use an alternative in the form of orally administered sedatives. Also, please confirm with your dentist beforehand whether they offer N2O since not every doctor does.
Number of Fillings
While fixing the cavities in children, dentists often do all the cavities at once. But in some cases, they choose to do only a single one at a time. The reason behind this involves the children rather than the cavities. A few children are patient and have no problem sitting in the chair for extended periods of time; however, others are not comfortable with the idea.
Dentists always want the best outcome for their patients, irrespective of their age. So, if it means making numerous appointments to fill the cavities, ensure that it is done. Offering quality care to a crying kid is quite hard for both children and parents.
If you are anxious about your kid’s first filling, a qualified, experienced dentist will put your mind at ease. They will draw up an effective treatment plan that is suitable for both parents and children, intending to preserve the child’s baby teeth until the adult teeth are ready to come in.