Oral problems are daunting, especially for children, and it can put parents under a lot of stress. Every child reacts differently to cavities. However, you shouldn’t take it lightly if your child complains that their teeth hurt when they bite into something hard or that they are experiencing difficulty opening their mouth wide. These are common indications of a possible cavity emerging in children. Once you identify the symptoms, your next step should be to schedule an appointment with the dentist for an adequate treatment plan.
What is a Cavity?
The common cause of cavities and tooth decay in children is a direct result from consuming excessive amounts of sugary foods and beverages. When the sugar stays on the teeth for a prolonged period of time, it starts contributing to bacterial growth, which later leads to plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky substance that eats away the tooth, which results in the cavity. Here is a quick guide for parents regarding cavity prevention in your child’s teeth:
- Schedule appointments with a dentist every six months.
- Make it a habit for your child to brush twice a day for no less than two minutes, and floss once a day.
- Teach your child gentle brushing and flossing techniques to prevent gums from bleeding.
- Limit consumption of sugary foods and beverages.
Why is Treating a Cavity Important?
The shape and structure of a child’s tooth are different than that of an adult. The center of the tooth contains nerves that support blood supply, but in children, these nerves are closer to the tooth’s surface. That is primarily the reason why cavities affect children more frequently compared to an adult. However, if the cavity isn’t too big, it should not cause any pain or discomfort in the short term.
Because of the differences in a child’s tooth, they have to undergo a slightly different type of dental procedure. It can sometimes get complicated to treat cavities in children, as the shape of their tooth isn’t suitable for large fillings. So if a dentist identifies that the cavity is touching both sides of your child’s tooth, he may recommend placing a silver crown on a tooth rather than a filing, for protection. This silver crown is removable. However, the dentist will suggest the treatment depending on the age of your child and the size of the cavity. The dentist will select the least invasive option and suggest ways to prevent future cavities.
Why Do You Need to Fill in a Cavity in Children?
Treating cavities in children is necessary for multiple reasons. For one, it helps to avoid the spread of oral infections, which result in more tooth decay. A cavity in teeth might also delay the formation of permanent teeth. But it doesn’t only effect proper tooth development, it can contribute to an improper jaw structure as well. Furthermore, if left untreated, the cavity can impact a child’s nutrition as they chew food with the infected teeth.
If your child starts complaining about sudden toothaches, make sure to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist without delay.