Cavities, also known as dental caries, are among the most common oral health issues among children. They can cause pain and more extensive tooth decay if not treated properly, so as a parent, you should learn as much as you can about this dental dilemma. Here are some frequently asked questions about your child’s first cavity to inform you.
What You Should Know About Cavities in Kids
What causes dental caries in children?
Some children may not fully understand the importance of good oral hygiene, so they don’t brush or floss their teeth thoroughly every day, increasing the risk of cavities.
Sugary foods and drinks can also contribute to dental decay. Sugar can linger on teeth for hours and fuel mouth bacteria. The bacteria produce acid that eats away at tooth enamel, creating dental caries.
How is tooth decay in children treated?
The most common treatment is a filling. After removing decay with a drill, a pediatric dentist will fill the hole in the tooth with a metal or resin composite. If the decay is more advanced, a crown may need to be placed on top of the tooth.
Should tooth decay in baby teeth be treated?
Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out, they should still be treated for dental caries. A baby tooth with an extensive cavity can become painful, and the infection can spread to other teeth or the gums.
How can I prevent dental caries in my child?
Encouraging good oral hygiene habits will help prevent cavities in children. Teach your child to brush their teeth twice and floss once a day. Also, feed your child a well-balanced diet, and limit sticky foods high in sugars, like candy and cookies.
If your child has developed a cavity, turn to the professionals at Pediatric Dentistry Kahala in Honolulu, HI. Led by Dr. Allen K. Hirai, who has over 24 years of experience, the office specializes in comprehensive dental care for children. To make an appointment, call (808) 737-0076.