Here at Toothfairy Pediatric Dental in the Reno area, we regularly meet with parents who are concerned about the possibility of their children dealing with cavities. They often ask us questions like:
- “Can my child’s cavities heal themselves?”
- “Are there home remedies for cavities?”
- “What should I do if my child develops a cavity?”
What Are Cavities?
Dental caries, typically called cavities, don’t appear overnight. They gradually develop over time as plaque slowly eats away at the enamel. In time, the tooth decays to the point that a hole develops, which then becomes a cavity. This cavity in the tooth requires treatment. If left untouched, cavities can cause a host of problems, including toothaches and tooth infections that might even require a root canal.
Are There Home Remedies for an Existing Hole in the Tooth?
Simply put, the answer is no. There are no home remedies for cavities once they’ve appeared.
Once the tooth has a hole in it, you’ll need the dentist to safely repair the tooth. This is commonly done with a composite filling. This method of repair is most effective for several reasons:
- The procedure can be done quickly in the dentist’s office with minimal to no pain. Sedation dentistry is often also available.
- Composite fillings are made of a tooth-colored material that’s both safe and durable. It’s a vast improvement over the silver, gold, or amalgam fillings of yesteryear.
- Composite fillings are durable, meaning your child should not have any issues with the tooth again for a long time if they care for their teeth properly.
Unfortunately, once your child has a cavity, it’s too late for home remedies or at-home treatments.
What Should I Do If I See A Cavity?
If you notice brown spots on your child’s teeth or if they’re complaining of tooth pain, it’s time to make an appointment to see the pediatric dentist. Your dentist will perform pediatric dental x-rays to check the overall structure of the teeth. Through x-rays and a visual inspection, your child’s dentist will quickly be able to tell you if they have a cavity or not.
Are There Home Remedies For Preventing Cavities?
Although it’s certainly true that there are no home remedies for an existing hole in the tooth, you have several home treatment options available to you before a cavity occurs. Although a cavity cannot heal itself, you can stop, or even reverse, general tooth decay.
The best home remedy for this is a regular regimen of brushing and flossing. There’s simply no substitute for regular tooth brushing. Before you consider any other home remedies for cavities, make sure that your child taking these steps:
- Brushing their teeth twice a day.
- Brushing their teeth before bed to keep tartar and plaque from building up during the night.
- Brushing their teeth for a full two minutes each time they brush.
- Flosses between their teeth at least once a day.
- Regularly change their toothbrush every three months.
A home remedy may help you in certain situations, but it must be used in tandem with regular brushing and flossing.
What Home Remedies For Preventing Cavities Are Effective?
When people typically think of home remedies, they think of pseudo-science and unusual methods of trying to fix common ailments and conditions.
Although some home remedies are not medically effective, there are others based on solid science. These are a few that we recommend if your child is experiencing tooth decay
- Sugar-free gum: This is the simplest and most effective home remedy for preventing cavities…and it’s based on straightforward science. Chewing gum containing xylitol after eating can stimulate the production of saliva. In turn, this increased saliva washes away the bacteria that can accumulate from eating. It’s simple, inexpensive, and effective.
- Reduce consumption of soda and juice: Sugary sodas are a common threat to good oral health. Juice can be too; most parents don’t consider how much sugar has been added to each bottle. Your child’s tooth enamel will inevitably benefit from a reduction of sugary drinks.
- Fluoride Toothpaste: We recommend that your child uses a fluoride toothpaste to help remineralize their teeth. Additionally, drinking fluoridated tap water found in most municipalities will also strengthen your child’s teeth.
- Licorice root: Some preliminary studies that show that the antibacterial properties of licorice root may help strengthen the teeth and keep cavities at bay. For parents searching for an all-natural home remedy for preventing cavities, this may be the best place to start.
Visit Toothfairy Pediatric Dental in Reno
Whatever you do, make sure your child is visiting the dentist every six months for their preventative checkup and cleaning. If your child has a regular relationship with the dentist, they’re more likely to take better care of their teeth over the long term.
If you live in the Reno area, we’d encourage you to visit one of our six locations at Toothfairy Pediatric Dental. Our friendly offices are a haven for children who typically have anxiety going to the dentist. From the moment they walk in the doors, children appreciate being treated by our kind, compassionate staff. Many parents also enjoy convenient evening and Saturday appointments. We also accept most dental insurance plans, including Medicaid.