girl brushing her teeth to prevent cavities

Dealing With a First Cavity

November 15, 2017 1:28 pm

As a parent, it can be incredibly worrisome if you think your child may have a cavity. But it’s better to deal with your child’s problem head-on. Here are some tips on how to deal with a first cavity, whether your child is a tot or a teen.

What Are Cavities?

First, let’s answer the question: what are cavities? Cavities are a type of tooth decay or a destruction of tooth enamel. While there are a few kinds of cavities, the most common is the coronal cavity. These occur in between your child’s teeth or on their chewing surfaces and are caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria that results from eating too many sugars and starches and not cleaning your teeth well enough.

How Do You Know If Your Child Has a Cavity?

If your child has recently developed a cavity, chances are they, and you, probably don’t know it. Your child’s dentist is really the only one who can tell for sure because cavities develop beneath the tooth’s surface and are hard to detect by sight alone. Your child’s dentist will probe your child’s teeth for soft and/or sticky spots that indicate decay. If your child has had a cavity for a long time, they will most likely get a toothache, and that should signal that it’s time for you to make an appointment with your child’s dentist.

How Are Cavities Treated?

Once your dentist has confirmed that your child has a cavity, they’ll probably need to “drill and fill.” This means that they will remove the decayed portion of the tooth with a drill, and then fill in the hole with a safe material such as silver alloy, porcelain, gold, or a composite resin.

How Do You Prepare Your Child for Their First Filling?

While you may be freaking out about your child facing a drill, it’s important to stay calm and reassure your child that everything is ok. Provide them with basic information, but don’t give them too much or they might be too afraid to even get in the car. The calmer parent should be with the child during the procedure, so if your partner is the anxious one, then you might need to step up. Laughing gas can also be provided if your child is too frightened and needs something to relax them.

How Can You Prevent Cavities?

Your child can prevent cavities by practicing good oral hygiene and eating a healthy diet. Make sure they’re brushing their teeth at least twice a day for a full two minutes, and flossing at least once a day. Use toothpaste with fluoride and mouthwash to rinse out any food debris. Feed them foods that are well-balanced and healthy, and stay away from starchy and sugary foods.

If you think your child may have a cavity or you need to schedule a cleaning, call us today!

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