Sometimes, it can feel like children are made out of rubber, able to bounce about without any type of issue and taking many a tumble with incredible grace. However, there is one area where childhood invincibility does not seem to work, and that area is in their mouth.
Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are common among children and the most common dental-related issue. When caught early, cavities can be readily knocked out but left untreated for too long, and your child might require more extensive (and expensive) treatment.
Why Children Get Cavities
Some kids never get cavities, while others seem to get them every year. The reason for this is twofold and has to do with certain habits.
- Love for Things Sweet & Carb-Based. The single best way to avoid cavities is to avoid the foods and drinks that commonly cause them. Unfortunately, those things tend to be the things kids are most drawn to. The bacteria that causes cavities feeds and thrives off of sugar, and because so much of food marketed towards kids is sugar and carb-heavy (think desserts and fast-food restaurants), they are more apt to get cavities.
- Improper Brushing Techniques. Brushing one’s teeth is the best way to remove the sugar that sticks to one’s teeth. So even if a child consumes a lot of sugar, ensuring they are properly brushing their teeth will help prevent cavities from forming.
Signs and Symptoms Parents Can Watch For
Another good thing to keep in mind is that tooth decay won’t happen overnight. There are some easy signs and symptoms parents can watch out for to prevent extensive dental work and before the bacteria reaches the inner pulp to cause intense pain. Such early indicators include:
- White spots on teeth
- Dark spots on teeth
- Pits or holes in teeth
- Avoidance of eating
- Teeth sensitivity when drinking hot or cold
- Swelling around the mouth
Treatments for Cavities in Children
If you notice any of the above symptoms, especially if you notice more than one, you should contact your dentist for an appointment. Your child’s dentist is the person best able to gauge the severity of the cavities and recommend the best treatment for cavities in your child and his or her situation.
Common treatment options for tooth decay the dentist might recommend include:
- Varnish or sealants in situations where tooth decay is not extensive. These are preventative treatments that are applied after a cavity is removed and work as a type of extra barrier against future problems.
- Fillings if part of the inner tooth has been destroyed by decay.
- Extraction of the tooth if the decay has gone so far as to compromise the tooth’s entire structure.
The Best Treatment is Prevention: Visit the Dentist 2x a Year
Always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Help your child avoid the trauma of needing a tooth removed by instilling in them healthy habits like brushing their teeth, avoiding excessively sugary and carb-heavy foods and drinks, and regularly visiting their dentist.
A dentist who sees their child patient twice a year is best able to track the progress of habits and make recommendations where necessary to avoid cavities from forming. Consider making that first appointment with your child’s dentist whenever their first teeth start appearing. This type of early consultation helps to ensure they are growing in right and strong for a beautiful and healthy smile.
Contact Triangle Dentistry in Raleigh, NC to Learn More
Our team at Triangle Dentistry in Raleigh, NC, is proud to offer exceptional care to patients of all ages. But you don’t have just to believe our word for it. Please take a moment to browse our testimonials to learn more about why so many in the Tri-City area choose us from their baby’s first tooth to their very last one (and beyond). Then, when you’re ready, give our team a call to schedule an appointment or answer any other questions you might have.
Our team at Triangle Dentistry is now accepting new patients and is proud to make care and treatment more affordable than ever, thanks to our in-office new patient plans.
Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000