Cavity Fillings & Sealants

Why Fix Baby Teeth

If your child starts complaining about tooth pain, they could have a cavity. It’s important to bring them to The Kid Dentist in Spanish Fork to check for decay and have a filling put in place if necessary. Quick action may help save the tooth and avoid the need for a more expensive treatment like a crown. While it may be tempting to think “baby teeth just fall out so there’s no need to take care of them,” this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Untreated decay in baby teeth could lead to a lifetime of dental problems for children. Baby teeth ultimately guide the eruption of permanent teeth. If they fall out prematurely because of decay, permanent teeth could erupt in the wrong place. This impacts your child’s tooth structure and could lead to issues with their biting, speaking, and, even, breathing!

Causes of Tooth Decay

Candy isn’t the only cavity-causing food on the menu. Other easy-to-eat carbohydrate-rich snacks and sugars cause bacteria as well. These include bread, beans, dried fruits (raisins), pasta, and crackers. The natural bacteria in your mouth feed off processed carbohydrates and sugary snacks. This causes bacteria clusters and a layer of plaque to build. Acidic waste then seeps into the teeth, destroying the tooth enamel. The end results — tooth decay and cavities.

Cavities take time to develop, though. Neglecting healthy oral health habits fuels bacteria growth, creating the perfect environment for cavities to form. Cavities in young children can occur for a number of reasons including too many sugary drinks, a lack of brushing, and even going to bed with a bottle. If you’re concerned about the impact your child’s diet may have on their dental health, consider speaking with your child’s pediatric dentist!

Dental Sealants

The most likely location for a cavity to form is on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These surfaces are not as smooth as other teeth. Instead, they have tiny grooves which can trap bacteria and food particles. The bristles on a toothbrush can’t always reach all the way into these crevices. This creates the perfect conditions for tooth decay.

Though fluoride, which is found in toothpaste and some drinking water — and in treatments we use here at the dental office — can strengthen enamel, it’s hard to get fluoride into these areas as well. Fortunately, there is a good solution to this problem: dental sealants.

Dental sealants are invisible plastic resin coatings that smooth out the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, making them resistant to decay. A sealed tooth is far less likely to develop a cavity, require more expensive dental treatment later on, or, more importantly, cause your child pain. Because tooth enamel does not contain any nerves, placing a sealant is painless and does not routinely require anesthesia. Sealants are “painted” on the tooth’s surface in liquid form and hardened with the help of a special curing light.

If you think your child may benefit from applied sealants, talk with our team today!

Symptoms of a Cavity

As adults, we know how painful tooth issues can be. From sensitivity to wisdom teeth and everything in between, we, unfortunately, know the pains associated with our teeth. When discovering an issue with your teeth, you most likely schedule an appointment as soon as possible, but what about our little ones? Do you know how to spot a cavity in your child’s mouth?

Our children aren’t always able (or willing) to communicate to us what’s bothering them exactly. Imagine having severe tooth pain but you’re not able to explain the pain to someone. For this reason, it’s important to understand how to spot cavities in children. Here are a few signs that may indicate your child has a cavity:

Tooth or gum pain.

Tooth or gum pain in kids isn’t always associated with a cavity. There could be a few other reasons why your child is having tooth pain such as a new tooth breaking through. However, if your child does complain of tooth pain, you need to be on the lookout for cavities.

Try asking your child to point to the area that’s bothering them or point to where they feel the pain. If your child complains of gum pain, they could be misinterpreting the source of pain in their mouths. When cavities develop in teeth, it can hurt, even when your child isn’t eating or drinking. This is why tooth pain is a sign that a cavity could be developing.

Holes in the teeth.

One of the last signs to help you determine that your child has a cavity are visible “holes” or pits in your child’s teeth. A hole in a tooth is one of the most recognizable signs of a cavity. If your child is complaining of tooth pain, you can visually inspect all of their teeth for holes.

Once a cavity begins eating away at a tooth, it causes the tooth as a whole to become more fragile. Because of this, teeth with cavities might also have cracks or chips in them. If you notice a tooth with a chip or crack, it doesn’t always mean that there’s a cavity as damage can happen from an accident, but you should seek out dental care to be sure.

Composite Fillings for Children

If your kids dentist finds a cavity, a composite resin filling may be used to treat the issue. Composite fillings are one of the most common forms of dental cavity treatments available. To treat a cavity, with a filling, your child’s dentist will start by removing the decay from the affected area. This will help ensure the infection does not spread to other areas of the mouth. Once the decay is removed, the dentist fills the area with a filling. At The Kid Dentist, we often use “white” or tooth-colored fillings, which harden in seconds and mimic the color and appearance of natural teeth.

As parents, we try our best to prevent cavities, but unfortunately, tooth decay can be a problem no matter how old you are. When preparing children for a dental appointment, it’s important to frame the visit in a positive light and never in terms of pain. If you’re not sure what to say to your little one, let us know! Our team is happy to provide you with advice for talking to kids about cavities.

Preventing Dental Issues for Children

Our goal is to teach good oral hygiene habits and encourage the application of important preventative measures — such as pediatric dental sealants — that will protect a child’s smile for years to come. Despite our best efforts, though, we know cavities are a part of life for many children. If that time comes for your family, we’ll be here to support you all the way! Whether you’re looking to correct a cavity or simply schedule your child’s next dental exam we’re here to help. Contact us today!

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