It’s not uncommon for kids to have cavities. In fact, one in every seven kids in the U.S. has at least one cavity. The good news is, if your child has a cavity, there are steps you can take to prevent it from hurting your child and impacting the rest of their dental health. Here are a few key things to do when your child has a cavity.
Take the Cavity Seriously
First and foremost, you need to take your child’s cavity seriously. While the cavity may be in your child’s baby tooth, which will eventually fall out on its own, people who develop cavities in their childhood are more likely to develop them later as an adult. Cavities can also cause tooth pain in your child, which can make it difficult for them to eat and drink properly.
Foods and drinks that are cold or hot may hurt their teeth, which can keep them from enjoying their favorite meals. Tooth pain can also keep your child from being able to properly focus on their schoolwork. If your child complains of pain in their mouth, be sure to make an appointment at your local family dentistry office.
Don’t Wait to Make an Appointment
As we stated above, it’s important to take a child’s cavity seriously. Some parents may choose to wait out the cavity to see if the baby tooth will fall out before it needs to be treated. However, waiting to make an appointment for your child’s cavity gives time for the cavity to worsen. Advanced tooth decay can be incredibly painful. Left untreated, it can even lead to infection and gum disease.
Bring Your Child to the Dentist
The most important thing to do when your child has a cavity is to bring them in to see their pediatric dentist. Childrens dentists are able to spot cavities as they’re forming, but sometimes a cavity can form between office visits. Don’t stress over whether childrens dentists will judge you for your child’s cavity. Cavities happen. But when a cavity forms, it’s necessary to have it treated before it can get worse. When you bring your child to the dentist, the dentist will examine the cavity and determine the next steps. Sometimes your child may need an X-ray and an exam before a filling is scheduled.
Schedule Your Child’s Filling
While at your child’s dentist office, you’ll schedule out your child’s filling. It’s understandable for your child to be nervous, especially if they’ve never had a filling before. Reassure your child that you’ll be in the room with them the whole time and that their tooth will be completely numb during the filling. Fillings help to clean out the decay from the affected tooth before it can worsen. The cavity is then filled with a tooth-colored composite to protect it. Your child will need to avoid eating anything hard or sticky immediately after the procedure.
Take Preventative Measures
Now that your child has received their filling, it’s a good idea to be proactive to make sure they don’t develop more in the future. Ask your local childrens dentists about what preventative measures they would recommend.
Watch your child brush their teeth to make sure that they’re brushing and flossing properly in the morning and evening. They should be brushing for at least two minutes each time, using gentle circles to remove any plaque. Consider getting a children’s-safe mouthwash to help fight plaque and tartar in harder-to-reach places. It’s often recommended to monitor your child’s teeth brushing at least until they’ve reached the age of 11. Consider brushing your teeth together so your child has a role model they can follow along with.
Other preventative measures to keep your child’s teeth happy and healthy is to reduce the number of sugary beverages they may be drinking. Sports and energy drinks are just as popular right now with kids as sodas are, but these drinks can be acidic and wear away at your child’s enamel. If your child is younger, consider watering down their juice and making sure they’re drinking plenty of water.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
It’s recommended to visit your child’s dentists at least once every six months for a regular check-up and cleaning. Contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group today to schedule a cleaning for your child. We’re always happy to take on new patients!