We answer common questions like: Are cavities in baby teeth ACTUALLY a big deal? Won't they just fall out? Is tooth decay truly a disease?
As a parent, you go to great measures to ensure that your child is well taken care of. Every day you see to it that your son/daughter's teeth are brushed and flossed. However, after a recent trip to the dentist, a cavity is found on their baby tooth. Read below for tips and tricks to care for your child's baby teeth.
BABY TEETH EVENTUALLY FALL OUT, RIGHT? You may be considering whether or not to have the cavity filled, or just to let it ride out until ready to fall out. It is a valid concern that many parents have.
WILL MY CHILD NEED A FILLING? There are a few considerations. Is your child complaining of toothaches, headaches, or having difficulty chewing food on one side? If so, make an appointment with your pediatric dentist right away. Our dentists at Sunshine Children's Dentistry will be able to give further instruction on treatment and whether a filling is necessary. Even minor tooth decay should be closely monitored. Unless the baby tooth is on the verge of naturally falling out, our dentists will offer you a customized care plan. It is important to care for baby teeth the same way you would with permanent adult teeth.
WHAT PREVENTATIVE MEASURES CAN I TAKE TO PREVENT CAVITIES? Cavities are a real problem, so naturally, parents want to help their children prevent tooth decay. One of the most trusted preventative measures is sealants. This pearly white molar coating is recommended by pediatric dentists and the ADA. Why are sealants such a positive dental procedure for children? Read our article on sealants as we answer 6 questions about pediatric dental sealants.
IS IT TRUE THAT TOOTH DECAY IS RESULT OF A DISEASE? Dental Caries is the most prevalent disease in both adults and children, even though it is somewhat preventable. Caries is caused by germs, which are easy to spread, especially through anything that involves exchange of saliva. The acid produced by these bacteria leads to the breakdown of your teeth. Even a baby tooth, if left untreated, can damage an adult tooth before it has the chance to emerge.
WHAT ARE 3 WAYS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF DENTAL CARIES?
* Food to Limit: Sugars, cookies, crackers, chips, sodas, juice, and sports drinks. If you choose to consume these, it is best to eat them during mealtime than as stacks between meals. Frequent consumption of these types of foods has been shown to increase your risk for caries (tooth decay).
* Activities to Limit: Try to prevent the spread of saliva, as that is a common way to introduce new bacteria into your children's mouth. Do NOT share feeding utensils, "clean" bottles or pacifiers in your mouth, or store toothbrushes where they will touch one another.
* Activities to Keep: Maintaining good oral health habits goes a long way. Brush twice daily and floss each day. Rinse your mouth with water after eating. Stay up to date with your dental appointments by scheduling them semiannually. And feel free to ask questions at your dental appointments! We are happy to answer any concerns you may have. We serve children of all ages, including newborns.
The Sunshine Children's Dentistry LOVES our patients! Your family is a blessing to everyone at our office. If you ever need to reach us, our number is 910.762.7736.
For more helpful resources and fun activities, be sure to read our other Blog Articles.