One of the goals of good dental care and hygiene is to prevent tooth decay and cavities. However, despite your best efforts, children sometimes need to get treatment for cavity repair.
The key to preventing cavities is good oral hygiene habits from infancy. Wiping your child’s gums after feedings and then using a soft toothbrush after his or her teeth come in will prevent the build-up of bacteria. After your child’s 1st birthday, use fluoridated toothpaste. School aged children should also use fluoridated toothpaste and will need your help brushing until they reach 9 years old.
Brushing twice a day is needed to keep your child’s teeth clean and cavity-free. However, if your child eats a diet heavy in sugars – cookies, candy, fruit juices and soda – brushing after meals may be needed.
Regular dental check-ups are key to cavity prevention and treatment. At Carpenter Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Erin will check your child’s teeth for signs of early decay and discuss any dietary or nutritional concerns you have.
Treatment of cavities is important in children, even with baby teeth. If left untreated, decay in baby teeth can affect the overall health of the child and impact the adult tooth. In addition, if baby teeth fall out too early, the spacing of the adult teeth will be affected and may require orthodontia and surgery. Generally, cavities that are found early can be treated without the use of local anesthetic.
Sealants are becoming a popular tool for the prevention and treatment of cavities in children. A safe, plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, dental sealants are an effective way to prevent cavities. They coat the teeth, providing a barrier that prevents bacteria from reaching the teeth.
Sealants are recommended for use on permanent molars and can be applied soon after they have erupted, at 6 years and at 12 years.
Though not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing, sealants are a cost-effective option for additional cavity prevention. At Carpenter Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Erin will give you the knowledge and techniques to help prevent cavities in your child’s teeth. But if your child does develop cavities, Dr. Erin and her staff will treat them safely. We use the most-effective, least traumatic methods possible for cavity repair.