If your child is experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity to hold and cold foods, it may mean that they have a cavity. A cavity is a hole in the tooth that indicates permanent damage that needs to be repaired. Cavities in children are fairly common.
Luckily fixing them is simple: you just need to make an appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist to get that cavity filled in. Learning more about the cavity treatment process and the causes of cavities can help you and your child work towards preventing future cavities.
Tooth Decay: The Major Cause of Cavities
The number one culprit behind most childhood cavities is tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in your child’s mouth that creates acid. This acid then erodes enamel, the protective outer layer of teeth. When this occurs, spots or small holes, called cavities, will begin to form on the teeth.
All children have bacteria in their mouth, and so they all have a certain risk of tooth decay. However, there are factors that can increase your child’s risk for tooth decay and cavities:
- Eating a diet high in starches and sugars, which bacteria feed on
- Drinking water that has an insufficient amount of fluoride
- Not adhering to good oral hygiene habits like daily brushing and flossing
- Reduced saliva production
If your child’s tooth decay persists, that’s when you need to know what to do when your child has a cavity in Reno.
Other Reasons Your Child May Need a Filling
Even though most cavities are caused by tooth decay, other dental issues may also require a filling, such as:
- An injury to the tooth that creates a crack or gap
- Incorrectly shaped teeth
- Underdeveloped teeth
- Chipped teeth
If your child has any of these issues, you’ll need to know what to do when your child has a cavity in Reno. If you’re unsure if your child needs a filling, the dentist will be able to perform an assessment and determine the best course of action.
The Composite Filling Process
Knowing what to do when your child has a cavity in Reno is as simple as making an appointment to get the cavity filled at our office. When your child comes in for their appointment, the dentist will prepare your child for the procedure. They will numb your child’s teeth and gums using a local anesthetic, though other sedation dentistry options are available if necessary.
Once your child is ready, the dentist will remove any decay from the affected tooth and clean the area. Then, a tooth-colored composite will be applied to the tooth and cured using a special light.
The last thing that the dentist will do is file the filling down to make sure it’s comfortable. Most children experience little to no discomfort during this process, and fillings can generally be completed in just one visit.
Composite fillings are very durable. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, your child’s fillings will last for years to come.
How to Prevent Cavities
While the process of what to do when your child has a cavity in Reno is relatively simple, it’s still much easier to prevent cavities than treat them. There are plenty of ways to help your child prevent cavities. The more preventative action you take, the less likely your child will be to develop another cavity.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to protect against cavities is to make sure that your child is engaging in proper oral hygiene. They should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Parents should ensure that children are using proper brushing technique, especially for younger children who are still developing motor skills. Children should also floss their teeth once daily, preferably at night. Proper brushing and flossing remove any lingering bacteria and food, which will help prevent tooth decay.
Making regular dental appointments is another simple way to prevent tooth decay. Children should see their dentist every 6 months for regular cleanings. While brushing and flossing can remove a lot of bacteria, they can’t remove plaque, which is hardened bacteria on the teeth. Luckily, a professional cleaning from your child’s dentist can remove harmful plaque build-ups, ensuring that your child’s teeth are totally bacteria-free.
Your child’s diet contributes to the health of their teeth, too. If your child eats a diet that contains a lot of sugar and starches, that puts them at a higher risk of tooth decay. Bacteria feed on the sugar in foods, and they turn that sugar into harmful acids that corrode the teeth. Encouraging your child to eat a healthy, balanced diet will help prevent high levels of bacteria from forming in their mouths, and it will ultimately keep tooth decay at bay. You should especially try to avoid sugary snacks that stick to teeth and drinks with added sugar. The longer the teeth are exposed to that sugar, the more time bacteria has to develop.
Make Your Child’s Appointment Today
Now that you know what to do when your child has a cavity in Reno, you can ensure that your child’s teeth are getting the proper treatment. Make an appointment at any of our convenient locations, including our pediatric dentistry office in Reno, to get a composite filling. Even if your child doesn’t have a cavity, your child should visit the dentist every 6 months for preventative care. Make your child’s appointment today to give them a healthy smile tomorrow!