Cavities in Children-Causes, Prevention, and Treatment
Cavities in children are caused due to tooth decay, which is the destruction of the tooth enamel. Cavities are holes that are produced in teeth. The main cause of tooth decay is bacteria. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates leave their residue or deposits on teeth due to bad oral hygiene practices, especially in children. Bacteria that live in the mouth changes these foods and convert them into acids. Some such food includes milk, soda, raisins, candy, cake, fruit juices, cereals, and bread. Similarly, plaque is a combination of bacteria, food, and saliva.
Children at risk:
It is common for all children to have bacteria in their mouths. We can say all of them are at risk for tooth decay if proper care of oral hygiene is not taken, but some children are at higher risk than others if they have high levels of bacteria, they are taking foods that have high levels of sugar in them, limited or no supply of fluoride in the water being used and have less saliva flow than other kids.
Tell-Tale Symptoms of Tooth Decay:
Keep a check on the following symptoms of tooth decay and if your child develops them, consult your pediatric dentist immediately.
-white spots forming on teeth or affected areas of teeth.
-the appearance of light brown colored cavities on teeth.
-the cavity becomes deeper and forms a darker shade of brown or turns black.
-pain in a tooth, areas around the tooth or gums.
-sensitivity to certain foods especially hot or cold drinks and sweet food.
The doctor will look at your child’s past medical history, do a complete examination of your child’s teeth and then take an X-Ray if it's required.
There are different ways of treating tooth decay in children depending upon the symptoms and varying from case to case. In most of the cases, the decayed portion of the tooth is removed and replaced by a filling. They are also called restorations. There are two types of restorations:
Direct restoration needs a single dentist visit to keep the filling inside the hole in the child’s teeth. These fillings may be made from silver, fine glass powders, acrylic acids or resin. They are often tooth-colored.
Indirect restorations require two or more dentist visits. There could be inlays, on lays, then applying crowns or bridges. They are made of gold, base metal alloys, ceramics or composites. Many of these materials look like natural tooth enamel.
Early-onset of tooth decay can be prevented in your child by developing good oral hygiene habits, regular brushing and flossing of teeth especially after intake of meals. Make sure your child eats a well-balanced diet and avoids sugary diets or diets high in carbohydrates. Schedule an appointment with your child pediatric dentist every six months.
If you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your child, book an appointment with your pediatric dental consultant immediately. If you are looking for a good dental consultant for your child, book an appointment with doctor Grant Gerety.