Dental Fillings for Children
In the United States, about one in five children aged 5 to 11 years has at least one cavity. With strong, healthy teeth, your child will learn to chew their food well and speak with confidence. Good oral hygiene for children begins when they’re babies and continues for the rest of their lives. When a child’s baby teeth have come in, your dentist can provide dental sealants for the back teeth to help deter cavities. If your child does experience tooth decay, it is important to know what the dental filling process involves.
Children’s Dental Filling Procedure
For your child’s filling, the dentist first removes the area of decay and cleans the tooth. Depending on how large the cavity is and where it’s located, it’s filled with a composite or amalgam filling. This gives the tooth a hard surface for biting down and chewing food. Your child will need to avoid eating anything that requires chewing for about 24 hours after the procedure.
If you have been bringing your child to the dentist from a young age, they’ll be familiar with office visits, but it can still be unsettling to get a tooth filled. To reduce anxiety, try reading a story about visiting the dentist before you go. Children’s dentistry is designed to put children at ease, and if you’re positive and cheerful, it will help your child relax as well.
Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Need Filling?
Parents may wonder if a child needs to have a filling for a cavity in a baby’s tooth. The answer is yes.
Left untreated, a cavity in a baby tooth can cause pain and inflammation in a child’s mouth and can lead to decay in other teeth. Cavities can also do more damage to baby teeth because the nerves and blood supply are closer to the surface. If a baby tooth has to be taken out prematurely due to decay, it can also lead to improper alignment of the permanent tooth.
Preventing Cavities in Children
Three of the best ways to prevent tooth decay are:
- Brushing and flossing daily
- Avoiding sweet and acidic foods
- Getting a fluoride treatment
- Having tooth sealants put on
Sugar, acid, and bacteria create an environment in which cavities can form, but having good dental habits can help prevent tooth decay. Parents can encourage healthy teeth by not serving sugary or acidic drinks to their children. Water, milk, and low-sugar sports drinks are good alternatives. Foods with high sugar content, such as cakes and cookies, and acidic foods, such as pickles, tomatoes, and citrus fruits, should also be limited.
If your child is in need of a dental filling, contact our dental office today and let us provide you with any information you may need.