Childhood tooth decay is a normal and treatable oral health issue. If left untreated, however, it can cause more serious problems like those that require root canals. Learn the risk factors for decay, how to prevent it, and the treatments available if decay is already present.
Risk Factors for Tooth Decay
Children are at risk for tooth decay, otherwise known as cavities, from a variety of places. The biggest cause of cavities is improper or inadequate brushing. Children should be brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice per day. Skipping a brushing session or chronically missing certain teeth can lead to cavities, and then it becomes necessary to look at child tooth decay treatment options.
Another risk factor is a child’s diet. Diets high in sugar, including fruit juices, can lead to cavities. This sugar gets stuck to your child’s teeth, and then the bacteria in their mouths feed on it, leading to plaque. This plaque eats away at the enamel, forming cavities.
How to Prevent Childhood Tooth Decay
The best way to prevent cavities is with proper oral hygiene. Help children younger than six years old brush their teeth to ensure they do so correctly. Also strongly encourage all kids to brush for the full two minutes twice per day. If necessary and the child is old enough, mouthwash can also be used to help avoid cavities.
In addition to at-home care, children should visit their pediatric dentist every six months for routine cleanings and check-ups. These visits help remove plaque kids may miss, as well as spot potential issues early.
Child Tooth Decay Treatment Options
There are a few options your child’s dentist will go over with you in the event that your child has tooth decay.
The most common way to treat cavities is with fillings. Composite fillings are made of a tooth-colored resin, so they’re virtually undetectable. Your child’s dentist will thoroughly clean the cavity of all plaque and bacteria, and then place the filling over the cavity to seal it.
If no other option is available to save the tooth, such as extreme instances of decay, the dentist may recommend pulling the tooth, especially if it’s a baby tooth.
This option for child tooth decay treatment is like a root canal but for children. It’s necessary when the decay has reached the inner pulp of the tooth. The process for pulpal therapy involves your dentist removing the infected part of the pulp, rather than pulling the tooth completely. The pulp is then replaced with a therapeutic material and the tooth is sealed with a crown.
Trust Tooth Fairy Dentistry in Reno
If your child has cavities, or you suspect they might, come to Tooth Fairy Dentistry in Reno. We’re dedicated to providing a fun, safe pediatric dentist experience for your child. Whether they need options for child tooth decay treatment, a regular cleaning, or something else, our team is prepared to handle all your child’s needs.
Contact us or call us at 775-909-4356 to schedule your appointment today.