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Cavity Treatment in Lancaster, OH
If your little one has been diagnosed with a dental cavity, they aren’t alone. Over 42% of children between the ages of 2 and 11 will develop a cavity in at least one of their primary teeth, and over 90% of Americans teens and adults develop dental cavities at some point in time. Dental cavities form when the shiny white enamel that protects the teeth is damaged, creating a pit in the surface of the tooth. Eventually, cavities can become deep enough to allow bacteria and food particles to contact the inner pulp and nerve fibers of the tooth, causing infections and discomfort.
Dental decay is a complicated villain, which is one of the reasons many parents have such a difficult time keeping their children’s teeth clean and healthy. The human mouth contains over 25 strains of oral bacteria which feed off of the simple sugars in the foods that you eat. These bacteria create enamel-eroding acids as they reproduce. Babies aren’t born with these bacteria in their mouths, but research has shown that parents unintentionally spread these bacteria to their children by the time they are 2 ½ by doing things like blowing on their food, sharing spoons, and letting their kids sip out of their drinks. More than one factor can speed the growth of bacteria and their production of damaging acids, including:
Because sugar is the food of choice for bacteria, eating or drinking sugary substances will encourage bacteria to multiply, especially if the sugar is allowed to rest on the teeth afterward.
Poor Oral Hygiene
If food grime isn’t whisked away from the teeth, it creates an ample food source for bacteria, which is why proper oral hygiene is so important. Poor oral hygiene, such as failing to brush, floss, or rinse, increases your child’s risk of tooth decay.
Your child’s saliva not only helps to rinse away food grime, but also contains compounds that neutralize bacterial acids. For this reason, a child, teen, or adult who suffers from dry mouth is at a higher risk for developing cavities.
Treatments for Cavities
Fortunately, cavities are highly treatable, which is why you shouldn’t worry too much if your child has one or two. After the decay is removed, a filling material is placed to keep the tooth strong and functional. Parents have the choice between amalgam, or silver-colored fillings, and composite resin fillings, which are also called white or tooth-colored fillings. Both types of fillings are effective and durable, although tooth-colored fillings are typically recommended for highly visible areas like the front teeth. Some insurance companies only offer coverage for amalgam fillings, which is why parents are encouraged to talk with their provider prior to their child’s appointment.
Here at Lancaster Pediatric Dentistry, we will do everything in our power to keep your child happy and comfortable during their cavity treatment. When your child comes in for their appointment, we make it a point to talk with them, understand their concerns, and to make the process as fun and lighthearted as possible. If your child has anxiety about dental procedures, we also offer several sedation dentistry options to make their experience as comfortable and pleasant as we can. After one of our doctors numbs the area, they will quickly eliminate decay, clean and rinse the area, and apply the filling material. Most fillings only take a few minutes to place, but will last as long as 11-12 years with proper care and maintenance
Preventing dental decay is easier than living with a cavity, which is why we encourage all of our patients and their parents to focus on preventive dental care. Our doctors and hygienists are more than happy to answer any questions you have about proper dental care, including how to brush and floss your child’s teeth effectively. Patients are also encouraged to come in regularly for cleanings and exams, and most children can benefit from fluoride treatments and dental sealants.
Schedule Your Child's Next Appointment Today!
Lancaster Pediatric Dentistry is currently accepting new patients, so call our office today to schedule a checkup for your child. We look forward to meeting you!