Cavity Treatment For KidsCarlsbad, CA
Cavities are one of the most common dental problems among children. A cavity refers to an area of permanent damage or decay in a tooth. In most cases, cavity treatment involves removing the decay and filling the tooth with composite material. Depending on the patient’s case, there may be alternative treatment options.
At CarlsbaDDS Pediatric Smiles, we offer cavity treatments for young patients experiencing pain or discomfort resulting from tooth decay. Our team can diagnose, treat, and help prevent future cavities from forming. To learn more about cavity treatment or schedule an appointment call 760-857-1102 today.
What are Cavities?
Cavities are among the most common dental concerns in toddlers, children, and adults. Although primary(baby) teeth eventually fall out in childhood, leaving cavities untreated can result in further complications in adolescence and adulthood. Cavities most often occur from inadequate oral hygiene, such as poor brushing and flossing or missing routine dental checkups.
Cavities form as a result of plaque buildup as the sticky substance eats away at tooth enamel, the surface layer of teeth. As enamel deteriorates, it creates a hole where the cavity resides. Plaque naturally occurs in the mouth when combined with saliva, acid, and food. To prevent cavity formation, it is important to brush and floss twice a day and rinse after every meal.
Symptoms of Cavities
Although cavities cause many of the same symptoms, patients may differ in their experiences and the time in which they begin to feel them. Some patients feel all of the common symptoms immediately, while others may not experience any symptoms at all. The most common symptoms of a cavity include:
- dark spots on the tooth
- white spots on the tooth
- pain or discomfort
- crying or fussiness
- sensitivity to cold foods or drinks
- mouth swelling
- avoiding food
General and pediatric dentists check for cavities during every dental checkup, making these appointments crucial for prevention and early treatment. During an examination, routine X-rays will capture the entirety of the mouth’s interior. The X-rays emit particles that reveal images of the teeth, gums, underlying bone, and jaw.
Through these X-rays, we can pinpoint where a cavity has formed or is beginning to form in order to treat it. They also reveal how big the cavity is and its severity. During the consultation appointment, we will take the X-rays and conduct a professional cleaning to get the patient going. After completing the exam, we can discuss possible treatment options.
The best possible way of preventing cavities is adequate oral hygiene habits. This includes proper brushing twice a day, flossing at least once daily, and rinsing after every meal. Following these basic oral hygiene practices removes plaque consistently throughout the day.
It is crucial that children visit their dentist every six months for routine dental checkups and cleanings to ensure their teeth are developing correctly and to check for cavities. For infants and toddlers, it is important to brush their gums and teeth while teaching them the importance of oral health. Avoid giving them a bottle at night, as bacteria and sugars in milk and juice can lead to tooth decay. For young children, watch as they brush and guide them to ensure they brush and floss well.
Cavity Treatments for Kids
Cavity treatment often depends on the patient’s age, symptoms, and current oral and general health. In most cases, the cavity must be removed and filled with a composite material, called a restoration. There are two types of restorations, direct and indirect.
Direct restorations require only a single visit to place the filling directly into a prepared hole. Fillings may consist of silver, fine glass powders, acrylic acids, or resin. They are often tooth-colored. Indirect restorations require two or more visits. They include inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges. These are constructed with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites. Many of these materials can look like natural tooth enamel.
Schedule a Visit Today
Cavity treatments are available at our office. The CarlsbaDDS Pediatric Smiles team looks forward to treating your child’s cavity and helping them prevent others in the future. Call our office at 760-857-1102 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cavity Treatment for Kids
What is the importance of baby teeth?
Baby, or primary, teeth are important as they help toddlers and children speak clearly and chew naturally. Healthy baby teeth also pave the way for the proper development of permanent teeth. Cavities present in baby teeth can cause adverse effects later in life if left untreated.
What home care practices help with alleviating toothaches?
Immediately rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Children can be given a topical or oral pain reliever to reduce pain and discomfort. It is important to see a dentist as soon as possible to treat the cavity early on.
How does thumbsucking and pacifier-sucking affect children’s teeth?
Most children stop sucking their thumb or a pacifier on their own before it becomes a problem. After the age of three, children should stop these habits as they can cause the front teeth to protrude forward. They can also cause improper development of the teeth and jaw.
What is wrong with giving my baby a bottle while they sleep?
There is a large amount of sugars and bacteria in milk that cling onto the top part of a baby bottle. These sugars and bacteria also reside in the baby’s mouth as they sleep, especially when the bottle is left in their mouth without the baby sucking. Sugar and bacteria cause plaque, the perpetrator of cavity development.
How do dental sealants protect against cavities?
Dental sealants are protective fillings placed in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of teeth. The added layer protects tooth enamel from collecting food particles that cause plaque and cavities. Sealants can help protect against cavities for several years.
How can parents help in the prevention of tooth decay and cavities?
Parents play a big part in preventing tooth decay and cavities in their children as they are present in most of their growth and development. Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly and guide their kids on how to properly brush, floss, and rinse, preferably after every meal to create consistency. They should also practice good oral hygiene habits themselves and promote a well-balanced diet at home.
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