All About Cavities: Signs, Treatment, and Prevention

All About Cavities: Signs, Treatment, and Prevention

An estimated 90% of adults over age 20 have had a cavity, with people between 20 and 64 typically having at least one cavity. When it comes to kids, the numbers are a little better, with roughly half of the children between 6 and 8 years of age getting cavities in their baby teeth. For little mouths, it’s important to pay close attention, and set them up for success with good habits. 

Protecting and treating tiny teeth is our focus at My Kidz Dentist, where our team of experienced and compassionate providers provide expert guidance and care to protect little teeth, and the overall health of young people. Our providers know that teaching young children to care for their teeth is one of the most important lessons that they’ll ever learn. 

How do cavities start?

Cavities, or tooth decay, are the product of imperfect oral hygiene, but the warning signs can be easy to miss in little people. The source of cavities are typically carbohydrates — starches and sugars — left behind on the teeth. When left behind, these carbs harden against the tooth, eventually eating through the enamel, creating a hole in the tooth. 

A diet heavy in starches and sugars can create a bacteria-friendly environment in the mouths of young children, making it easier for cavities to form. If your child has low saliva production, doesn’t drink enough water, or doesn’t practice good oral hygiene, the likelihood of your child developing a cavity is elevated. 

Signs of cavities in children are fairly distinctive. Watch for: 

Anyone of any age can develop a cavity, but treating cavities in children is best left to your provider at My Kidz Dentist. 

What do I do if my child has a cavity? 

If you think that your child has a cavity, don’t worry — our friendly dental professionals will know what to do to help your child. Schedule an appointment with us as soon as you think your child may have a cavity. When you come in, we give your little one a full examination, and determine the best course of action to provide relief from their cavities. 

Most children with cavities can get fillings for their cavities, which preserves their natural tooth. Some children may need a dental crown, and severe cavities may necessitate removing, or extracting, the decayed tooth. To get this done, particularly in smaller children, your provider may need to use nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, which helps your child to relax. 

Your provider usually needs an hour to fill a cavity, but this could take longer if there are several cavities, or if another dental issue is detected.   

Can I prevent cavities in my child’s teeth? 

Preventing cavities in children has overlap in preventing cavities in adults. Start with a diet that nurtures teeth — nuts, chese, applesauce and dried fruit with no sugar added, carrots, and frozen bananas are a great start. Make sure that your child has access to plenty of tap water, as most local water supplies are enriched with fluoride. 

Though it might be a time-consuming pain, make sure to supervise your child’s oral hygiene practices. This means making sure that they’re flossing correctly, brushing properly for at least two minutes twice each day, and that they visit their provider at My Kidz Dentist every six months. Whether your child has a cavity, or if it’s time for a check-up, call My Kidz Dentist at any of our three locations, or book an appointment with us online.

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