Children, just like adults, can suffer tooth decay.
This is not unusual! Tooth decay in children can be caused by a variety of things, like high sugar intake, bacteria growth, or just bad oral hygiene.
You can easily solve this by bringing your child to the dentist. Make sure to set an appointment at the dental office
as soon as you seen signs of tooth decay! Here’s what you can look out for:
A small cavity that will look light brown in color
A deeper cavity that is darker brown or even black
Tooth sensitivity to cold drinks, hot drinks, or even sugar
Pain around the teeth
Small white areas in the teeth where enamel has decayed
If you’ve detected any of these, then it’s time to set a dental appointment for your child. Schedule a time with your local dentist that is convenient for you. This is what you can expect at your child’s dental visit:
The dentist will ask you for your child’s medical and dental history. They will then perform a dental examination of your child. This just involves a quick look around your child’s teeth and gums. If this does not settle the diagnosis, they may require you to get a dental x-ray done.
Depending on how serious or progressive your child’s tooth problem is, the treatment may vary. But the general treatment for tooth decay is a restoration. This is just a removal of the decayed area of the tooth and a replacement using filling.
There are two kinds of restoration treatments your child can get:
Direct Restoration only requires one visit. This is a quick process of filling the decayed area with material such as fine powders, resin, or acrylic.
Indirect Restoration will need more than one visit. These involve other components such as bridges, crowns, or inlays. These components can use ceramic, composites, or metal alloys.
After the tooth decay is treated, prevention is key. You don’t really want to go through dental treatments that could have been prevented. So here are some tips for preventing later tooth decay for your child:
Practice regular oral hygiene for your child! Start as soon as you see those baby teeth popping up. Fluoride toothpaste is a great way to go. 3 year-olds and younger can get by with a tiny grain-sized bit of toothpaste. Children older than 3 can use the regular pea-sized squeeze.
Watch their diet! Children who have a sweet tooth are definitely more prone to tooth decay. Junk food, even the non-sweet ones, can also cause tooth decay.
Prevent bacteria from entering your child’s mouth. Don’t let them put just anything in their mouth. If you want to be extra careful, avoid sharing utensils as well. You may have bacteria that your child’s immune system cannot fight yet.
Keep up the regular maintenance. Just like any adult, your child needs to visit the dentist regularly. Whether this is for a twice-a-year cleaning or you see a concerning symptom pop up, going to the dentist won’t hurt.
Just remember that the dentist is only one appointment away! If you haven’t been to one in the last 6 months, both you and your child could definitely use a visit.