Dental cavities or tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues among young children. Even though children have baby teeth that will eventually fall off, it is still important to keep them in a healthy form. Ignoring a cavity can cause further damage to your child’s teeth, which can have long-term implications. In this blog, we will discuss the common causes of tooth decay, its treatment, and prevention measures.
What Are The Causes of Dental Cavities?
Dental cavities occur when food debris, saliva, and bacteria combine to form a layer of plaque on tooth surfaces. Plaque serves as a habitat for oral bacteria. When you eat sugary foods or complex carbohydrates, these bacteria convert them into acidic substances, which erode the enamel, causing a hole or cavity.
Various factors make children more prone to develop dental cavities or tooth decay. Toddlers and young children are unable to maintain a daily oral care routine, which increases the risk of tooth decay. Furthermore, many children indulge in sugary products such as candies, chocolates, lollipops, etc., which can damage their teeth. The enamel of baby teeth is less resistant to dental cavities than that of permanent teeth, so parents need to regulate their child’s dietary habits.
How is Tooth Decay Treated?
If your child develops pain in one or more teeth, tenderness, sensitivity, or other symptoms, they may indicate dental cavities. First and foremost, visit our dentist so that we can assess the problem. We might perform a dental x-ray to visualize the extent of tooth decay.
A dental filling is the preferred treatment for cavities. Although baby teeth fall off eventually, it is necessary to preserve them for their time period until they are naturally replaced with permanent teeth. During the procedure, our dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and debride the cavity. Next, we will take a dental filling (usually composite or glass ionomer cement) and mold it inside the cavity till it’s fully sealed. Although the process is painless, we may add sedation anesthesia to help your child relax.
If a primary tooth has extensive damage, we would prefer a dental crown. It resembles the natural teeth and covers the entire surface of a damaged tooth to provide protection. In severe cases where the tooth is not salvageable, our dentist will recommend a tooth extraction.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children?
Proper oral hygiene is the most crucial factor in preventing dental caries. Initially, it is better to brush your teeth along with your child so that they learn about oral care and develop it as a habit. Build a daily brushing routine first and follow it with flossing. Also, keep an eye on their dietary intake and ensure they do not eat too many sweets. It takes time to instill a good practice, so you’ll have to be patient during the process.
Along with home dental care, schedule regular dental visits for your kids to familiarize them with dentists and dental procedures. Routine visits can also help us to monitor their eruption pattern and jaw development. We will also recommend preventive dental treatments such as dental sealants and fluoride application to reduce the risk of dental caries.
To get comprehensive pediatric dentistry services, visit Bayside Dental or call us at (979) 330-4113 to book an appointment.