Pediatric Dentistry: When Does a Child Need Dental Fillings?

pediatric dentistry Middletown, NY

Pediatric dentistry is an important branch of dentistry that is tailored to ensure young people receive quality dental care. Pediatric dentists can help parents set their kids up for a lifetime of good oral health. It is usually distressing to learn that a child has a cavity in one of their teeth. If cavities are not treated, it can lead to negative consequences for both the children and parents. Fortunately, a pediatric dentist can keep your kid’s teeth healthy.

Pediatric dentistry and dental fillings

Tooth decay is basically the breakdown of tooth enamel. Tooth decay can eventually lead to cavities, which are holes in the teeth. Tooth decay can be caused by bacteria. It occurs when foods that contain carbohydrates are left on the teeth.

Such foods include soda, milk, candy, cake, raisins, fruit juices, bread and cereals. Bacteria that live in the mouth often change these foods, making acids. The combination of food, bacteria, saliva and acid form a substance, referred to as plaque, that ends up sticking on the teeth. After some time, the acids made by bacteria eventually eat away at the tooth enamel, which causes cavities.

Children at risk for tooth decay

All kids are at risk of developing tooth decay because all kids have bacteria in their mouths. But certain factors can raise a child’s risk for it. These include poor oral hygiene, a diet high in starches and sugars and high levels of the bacteria that end up causing cavities. Other factors include less saliva flow than normal and water supply that has either minimal or no fluoride in it.

Dental filling process

If a kid has a cavity in a baby tooth, it often means that bad oral bacteria are eating away at the structure of the tooth and causing decay. To stop the process of decay, a small drill will be used by the dentist to remove the infected area. The hole will then be sealed with filling material. Several different types of fillings can be used by a dentist.

This will depend on the extent of the decay. The dentist will determine the ideal material for the situation of the child. After it has been applied, the filling will help rebuild the tooth structure. This will ensure it can function normally and help prevent further decay.

Takeaway

If not treated, dental decay can become worse and eventually lead to more serious oral health problems. Some problems caused by childhood cavities include advanced dental infections, mouth pain and gum disease. Others also include damage to permanent teeth, disrupted speech development and even tooth loss. Treatment will depend on a myriad of factors.

These include the symptoms of the child, age and general health. It will also be based on the severity of the condition. Most times, treatment involves the removal of the decayed part of the child’s tooth and then replacing it with a dental filling. If you want to find out more about pediatric dentistry for your child, talk to your pediatric dentist.

Request an appointment here: https://www.hvkidsmiles.com or call Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry at (845) 363-4177 for an appointment in our Middletown office.

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