Taking your child to the dentist to have regular cleanings is part of cavity prevention.
Tooth decay and cavities can deprive a child of a healthy smile. So it is important to take special care of your child’s teeth. According to available figures, 23% of the children in the age group of 2 – 5 years have tooth decay.
While prevention is key, cavities may still form. However, children have dental anxiety just like many adults do. Some children who are experiencing anxiety and are unable to cooperate for needed dental treatment can benefit from anesthesia services.
Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Decay
There are a number of signs and symptoms of tooth decay that you can look for. Some of these include:
- A toothache is the most common sign of tooth decay.
- The person experiences tooth sensitivity.
- There is a pain in the teeth when hot or cold beverages or food is consumed.
- Hollow openings can be seen in the teeth.
- There are brown, white or black stains on the surface of a tooth.
What Is a Cavity
A cavity is a permanently damaged area in the hard surface of the tooth which develops into a tiny opening or hole. It is caused by bacteria present in the mouth. Eating snacks frequently, drinking sugary beverages and not cleaning the teeth properly can lead to the formation of a cavity.
The cavity-causing bacteria consume simple sugars and convert them into plaque. This is a sticky film which produces acids. These acids can harm the tooth enamel and infect the gums which support the teeth.
Cavities in Primary Teeth
Primary teeth are temporary but they play a very significant role in the dental development of the child. They provide a structural base for the shape of the child’s mouth. Baby teeth enable the child to eat and chew his food comfortably. They help him in speaking. Above all, they act as placeholders for future teeth. The alignment of the next set depends on them. Therefore, they should be looked after properly.
If your child’s baby tooth has a cavity, it is important to get it filled by a dentist so that the infection does not spread to the other teeth.
Cavities in Permanent Teeth
It is necessary to use preventative measures to stop the formation of cavities when the child gets his permanent teeth. This is the final set of teeth. So extra care has to be taken to make them healthy, strong and long-lasting.
If there is a minor tooth decay a filling may suffice. But if it is spread over a larger area a dental restoration like a crown may be the best option. This will give a boost to the tooth and increase its lifespan.
Ways to Prevent Cavities
It is possible to prevent the formation of cavities. In order to maintain your child’s healthy smile for a lifetime follow these tips:
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush his teeth at least twice every day.
- Remove the plaque between the teeth and under the gum line by flossing daily.
- Avoid sugary and starchy foods
- Make sure his toothpaste and other dental products contain fluoride.
- Ask him to drink plenty of water.
- Use dental sealants.
- Take him to the dentist regularly.
St. Louis General Dentistry
Your child’s initial oral examination will include a visual examination, charting, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. We work hard to make your child feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere. Depending on your child’s circumstances, we will discuss if sedation or anesthesia is right for your child.
Call us today to schedule your appointment at (314) 862-7844. We look forward to meeting you!