Having a cavity is never fun. In addition to possible pain or sensitivity, a cavity on a tooth makes it more susceptible to further decay and increases the chances it might need to be pulled if left untreated.
It is important to teach our children good oral hygiene from an early age to prevent these issues in the future, but cavities aren’t totally avoidable. Knowing the right steps to take if your child does have a cavity is critical to proper treatment and prevention.
Here’s what you need to know about cavities and your child.
How Cavities Happen
For years we were told that eating too much candy and junk food would give us cavities. And while that is true, there is a greater explanation for how these issues form on our teeth than simply the type of foods we’re eating. Whenever we eat anything, the particles left behind in our mouths as well as the saliva and bacteria, mix to create plaque and acid. This then eats away at the enamel on our teeth. Once the tooth decay is bad enough, holes form and cavities happen. Carbohydrates and sugars are the main culprits because they cling to teeth and stick around longer – so there is some truth to what we’ve always been told. Limiting these types of foods in your diet will save you from cavities and improve your overall health.
What You Should Do
One sure sign of a cavity is pain or sensitivity to the area whenever you eat or drink something hot or cold. A dentist can also spot cavities in routine x-rays or by performing an oral examination where an instrument is used to feel for soft spots on the tooth. If a cavity is found, it may be drilled out and filled with a filling to stop the decay from spreading. If there isn’t much of the tooth remaining, there could be a crown used or a root canal done. In worse case scenarios, an extraction may be ordered. Loosing too many teeth creates other issues altogether so avoiding this option is best if possible.
For children, there may be additional anxiety around having this type of work done to the teeth but if you think your child might have a cavity, waiting is the worst course of action to take. Start paying closer attention to your child’s brushing routines, increase the schedule to twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and be sure to floss. In the meantime, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with a dentist to have an oral exam done and prevent further issues.
CT Pediatric Dentistry is focused on providing children with everything they need for a healthy oral future. Our Connecticut offices use kid-friendly methods to show them that going to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary. Contact us today!