Tooth decay is permanent damage to the surface of your teeth. Mainly caused by bacteria, sugar and plaque, tooth decay or cavities are a common health problem worldwide. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain and infection or even lead to tooth loss. All children are at risk of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is a common dental issue for children. If cavities are left untreated, they can progress to the tooth’s inner pulp or possibly even to an infection. Noticing and taking care of tooth decay early will make treatments more manageable. It’s never too early for your child’s first visit. You should bring your child to a family dentistry Mississauga for an appointment as soon as their first tooth appears.
This risk increases if they have poor oral hygiene, consume a diet that is high in sugars and starches, or if their water supply is not fluoridated. Many people believe that cavities in baby teeth aren’t important, but this could not be farther from the truth. Your child’s primary teeth significantly affect their health and well-being.
Here are the five tooth decay treatment options for children:
Option #1: Fillings
Most of us are familiar with fillings, a standard treatment for cavities. Fillings are essential to fix holes and prevent the problem from getting worse. After removing the infected material and cleaning the tooth, the dentist will fill the cavity. The material they choose will depend on the severity and location of the tooth decay.
Fillings can be done on primary or baby teeth and permanent teeth. Saving a primary tooth should always be a priority since losing them can disrupt the way the permanent tooth comes in. Some fillings will require the use of a local anesthetic. This is usually injected with a needle to numb the area being worked on.
Option #2: Dental Crown
Your dentist may recommend a dental crown if your child has severe tooth decay. A crown is a tooth-shaped covering that the dentist cements to the tooth. The purpose of the crown is to restore the tooth’s function.
Extensive decay may be beyond the scope of a simple filling. A dental crown is another way to preserve the baby tooth without the risk of a large filling that may fall out or break, resulting in more procedures. A crown will hold the space for the permanent tooth and will generally last until the baby tooth falls out naturally.
Option #3: Pulpotomy (Child Root Canal)
If the tooth decay has reached the inner pulp of your child’s tooth, it is likely causing them a lot of pain. Your dentist may perform a pulpotomy to remove the nerve from the nerve chamber.
This is a similar process to a root canal, but they do not take as much time since only a tiny portion of the inner pulp is removed. This procedure will prevent further damage and deterioration of the tooth, which will continue to develop until it falls out.
Option #4: Tooth Extraction
An extraction may be necessary if the tooth is badly damaged or an infection has developed. A dentist recommends this action only if no other treatment option can save the tooth. If a tooth needs to be removed, the dentist will utilize a space maintainer to preserve the space that the tooth had occupied.
This spacer will help to reduce the chance that the extraction leads to chewing issues or orthodontic problems farther down the road.
Option #5: Preventative Treatments
It can sometimes be challenging to recognize if your child has a cavity. Tooth decay doesn’t always cause pain, and not all children will be able to communicate their pain directly. Some signs that can indicate an issue include excessive fussiness or crying, swelling around the mouth, dark or white spots on the tooth, sensitivity, or food avoidance. If you think your child has a cavity, you should call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. They will do an examination and recommend treatment.
Several proactive treatments can decrease the chance of your child developing cavities. Fluoride varnishes are applied to strengthen the teeth and prevent decay. Sealants can be used on the back molars to protect places that are difficult to clean properly. Both of these treatments can be done routinely at your dentist’s office. There is a lot you can do at home to prevent tooth decay. Start brushing your child’s teeth twice daily as soon as the first tooth erupts.
After two, you can also help your child floss daily. Try to limit sugary, sticky snacks. If your child uses a bottle at naptime or bedtime, only put water in it. Juice, milk, or formulas all contain sugars that can lead to cavities. Make sure you schedule your child for a routine dental examination and cleaning every six months.