Cavities are one of the most common dental problems among children and toddlers. Children’s cavities or tooth decay happen due to poor dental hygiene and regular snacking on sugary and acidic food items. Cavities can develop in both baby and adult teeth. Whichever the case, you shouldn’t ignore holes. Let’s learn more about cavities among children, including the causes, treatment, and prevention.
● Poor oral hygiene
Commonly, cavities develop due to poor dental hygiene and habits. When children don’t clean their mouths regularly and properly, it builds up bacteria, plaque, and tartar in the mouth. Over time, these deposits release harmful chemicals that attack the tooth’s enamel and cause holes or cavities. Fortunately, regular brushing and flossing can protect your child from cavities. Be sure to help your child brush their teeth if they are too young to do it independently.
● Poor diet
Diet plays a significant role in your child’s dental health. Foods high in sugars and starches encourage bacteria growth in the mouth, increasing the risk of developing cavities. Similarly, acidic food erodes and weakens the tooth’s enamel, making your kid’s teeth vulnerable to bacteria and cavities. To maintain good dental health among children, limit sugary, starchy, and acidic food items like ice cream, cakes, chips, crackers, soda, lemons, and candy.
● Dental trauma
Dental damage such as chips, cracks, and breaks can make your child’s teeth vulnerable to bacteria attacks, eventually leading to cavities and decay.
Tips to protect your child’s teeth from cavities include:
When left untreated, tooth cavities will get deeper, leading to decay in the tooth’s pulp. Over time, untreated cavities or decay can lead to severe issues such as loose teeth, tooth loss, gum disease, and jawbone problems, among other topics. That said, taking your child to a children’s dentist near you is essential if they have cavities.
Signs to watch out for include:
Regular dental exams and cleanings can allow the dentist to check on your child’s teeth for cavities. If your child has holes, the dentist will design a treatment plan to address the condition. The treatment recommended will depend on your child’s age, overall health, and symptoms. Common treatments for cavities among children include:
The dentist will remove the decayed pulp of the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading further. Next, the dentist will fill the holes with a filling material to repair the damage caused by the decay. Baby teeth often require direct restorations, requiring only a single dental appointment. A filling restores the tooth strength and protects it from further damage. The dentist can perform dental fillings on children as young as one or two.
The dentist can recommend a dental crown if your child’s permanent tooth is significantly damaged.
The dentist might recommend a tooth extraction if the kid’s tooth is beyond repair. The dentist can use a space maintainer to ensure the incoming permanent teeth develop correctly.
Fortunately, the dentist will always sedate the child when providing these treatments to ensure they remain calm and pain-free. If your child needs multiple treatments, the dentist can break up the appointments to make them more child-friendly.
Are you looking for cavity treatment options for your kid? Contact Sunny Smiles Kids Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics to book an appointment with our pediatric dentist.