Cavities are a common problem in children, especially those who have baby teeth. They can be quite painful and cause a lot of discomfort to your little ones. However, with proper care, you can prevent them from happening or treat them before they get worse. Here are some tips and tricks on how to treat cavities in baby teeth.
What Are Baby Teeth?
Baby teeth or primary teeth are the first set of teeth that emerge during childhood. They usually start coming in around 6 months of age and continue to develop until about age 3. These milk teeth serve as placeholders for the permanent adult teeth that will come in later.
What Causes Cavities In Baby Teeth?
Cavities occur when bacteria feed on sugar and carbohydrates left on our teeth and produce acid that dissolves tooth enamel over time. When this process continues, a hole called a cavity forms in the tooth’s surface. Children who consume sugary drinks and food excessively or do not brush their teeth adequately are at greater risk of developing cavities.
Symptoms Of Cavities In Baby Teeth
It is essential to recognize the signs of cavities early so they can be treated as soon as possible. Here are some symptoms your child may exhibit if they have developed cavities:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods
- Discolored spots on their tooth
- Difficulty eating due to pain while chewing
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is vital you take your child to a dentist immediately.
How Do You Prevent Cavities In Baby Teeth?
Prevention is always better than cure! Here are some preventive measures that parents should encourage their kids to follow:
1) Brushing Twice Daily: Encourage your children to brush twice daily using fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each session.
2) Avoid Sugary Drinks: Children should avoid sugary drinks like sodas, sports drinks, and juice boxes as much as possible.
3) Maintain A Healthy Diet: Encourage children to maintain a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
4) Regular Dental Check-ups: Take your children to the dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings.
How Are Cavities In Baby Teeth Treated?
If your child has developed cavities in their baby teeth despite following all these preventive measures, don’t worry! There are several treatment options available:
Fluoride Treatment ‘when caught early upon discovery‘: Your dentist will apply fluoride varnish or gel on your child’s tooth surface to help remineralize it. This treatment is most effective when the cavity is discovered early on.
Filling The Cavity ‘for deeper or larger cavities‘: If the cavity has progressed deeper into the tooth structure , filling may be necessary. The dentist removes any decayed portion and seals it with either white colored composite resins or silver amalgam filaments that unfortunately can make one look like they’ve chewed asphalt.
Crowning The Tooth ‘severely broken down teeth‘: In cases where extensive damage occurs crowns may be necessary instead of fillings for restoring function.
In extreme cases like an abscessed tooth caused by deep decay such that milky liquids discharge from little gums- root canal therapy or extraction may become unavoidable.
Q) At what age do babies start getting their first set of teeth?
A) Babies usually start teething around six months old.
Q) Is it necessary to brush baby teeth every day?
A) Yes. Brushing baby teeth regularly helps prevent tooth decay.
Cavities in baby teeth are a common problem, but with proper care and treatment, they can be treated successfully before becoming bigger problems . Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice daily , maintains a healthy diet whilst avoiding sugary drinks and receives regular dental check-ups for successful oral health.
Remember, regular dental check-ups can help catch cavities before they become unbearable. Helping communicate these preventive measures will keep their smiles shiny even if not glistening all the time because of an extensive amount of candy consumption ;).