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Tooth Decay and Young Children: What to Expect

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Did you know young children can suffer from tooth decay just like adults? Unfortunately, many parents do not realize this is possible. Because decay can begin at such an early age, it is important for parents to make sure their children are brushing regularly. If you have noticed a bit of decay or discoloration on your child's teeth, it is best to bring him or her into the dental office for an evaluation.

The Dental Evaluation

Before you bring your child into a general dentistry for a dental evaluation, it may be in the child's best interest for you to bring him or her to a pediatric dentist. The office environment of a pediatric dentist is often kid friendly to help ease the nerves of young children who are scared of going to the dentist in the first place. Once you have found the right dentist, you can bring your little one in to have his or her teeth examined. The examination involves a thorough check with an inspection mirror that provides the dentist with a full view of each tooth. X-rays may also be taken to provide even further evidence of any decay that is developing.

The Treatment Options for Children with Tooth Decay

If your child does have tooth decay on his or her teeth, the treatment options will vary. The type of treatment will depend on how severe the decay is and whether there is any type of infection going on inside the mouth or not. If the cavity is quite small and only recently started to develop, the dentist may recommend a filling. While fillings were once mainly available in silver, dentist can now use a white resin to cover the cavity.

While a filling is a suitable option for some cavities, there are other treatment options available for severe cases of decay. The dentist may need to put a cap over the tooth if it cannot be treated with a simple filling. Caps are often made of a metal material, but they may be covered with a white coating to make them look more like real teeth. Caps are cemented over natural teeth after the decay is removed, and they may fall out several years later when your child begins losing his or her teeth to make room for the adult ones.

In some of the most severe cases, the tooth has to get pulled. However, the dentist will discuss the type of treatment your little one needs before you schedule the follow-up visit. Once treatment takes place, it is important to practice healthy oral-hygiene habits with your child so that he or she gets the hang of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to avoid any further decay and future dental issues.

If you have concerns that your child may have a cavity, make sure to visit a pediatric dentist. The dentist will be able to find out what is going on with the teeth and treat any problems with different types of dental procedures.

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