Worried about your child’s first cavity? Not sure what to do or what to expect along the way? The prevalence of cavities in children is declining, but tooth decay still impacts roughly 43% of kids. Here are some tips to help you get that cavity taken care of and prevent future ones from forming.
Signs Your Child May Have a Cavity
If your child goes to the dentist once or twice a year, the dentist can spot a cavity early on. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist or you’re just not sure what to look for, here are some potential signs of tooth decay:
- Sensitivity to cold or hot liquids
- Avoiding certain foods or drinks because they “hurt”
- White spots on your child’s teeth
- Frequent toothaches
- Sensitivity to sweets
- Noticeable holes or pits in your child’s teeth
If you’ve noticed any of these cavity indicators, it’s time to book a pediatric dentist appointment.
Schedule a Pediatric Dentist Appointment for Cavity Treatment (Or to Confirm There Is a Cavity at All)
Scheduling a dentist appointment is the first step in “what to do if your child has a cavity.” The dentist will conduct an oral exam to determine if the symptoms are linked to a cavity or something else. From there, the dentist will recommend the appropriate treatment based on the severity of the tooth decay.
Fillings are the most widely known forms of tooth decay treatment, but they are far from the only options. In the earliest stages of tooth decay, routine fluoride treatments may be enough to fortify the tooth and prevent an actual cavity. On the flip side, a cavity that has been untreated for a long time may need a more extensive solution than a filling.
See the pediatric dentist and learn what your options are. Then you can make a plan specifically for your child.
Should My Child Get a Filling on a Baby Tooth?
We get this question a lot. “The tooth is going to fall out anyway. Why does my child need a filling?” If the tooth is on the verge of coming out, it makes sense to pull it. If it has a ways to go though, it’s best to fill the cavity and let the tooth come out naturally.
Your child’s baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth. If they come out too soon, teeth shift and new teeth grow in crooked. Your pediatric dentist can recommend the best course of treatment for your child’s long-term needs.
Learn more: Do You Need to Fill Cavities in Baby Teeth?
Practice Tooth Decay Prevention and Good Oral Hygiene
The best way to treat a cavity is to prevent it from ever forming. That means brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
Schedule annual pediatric dentist appointments to keep up with your child’s oral health. This not only minimizes the risk of decay, but it also ensures that you catch problems at the first signs. Clinton Dental Center is a family-friendly pediatric dentist office with smile solutions for all age groups. Contact us at (586) 949-5363 to set up your child’s oral exam and teeth cleaning.