If you were surprised to hear the dentist say your child has a cavity – you’re not alone. Unfortunately even children who brush their teeth twice a day can still get cavities. This could be from lack of rinsing, flossing, or too many sugary foods and drinks.

Cavities are one of the most common dental problems in toddlers and children. So now that your child has a cavity, the next step is to treat it. Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry explains what to do if your child has one or more cavities.

How to Treat Cavities

A cavity is a permanently damaged area in a tooth, and it can occur in primary (baby) and permanent teeth. In most cases, the course of treatment for a cavity is to have it filled. A filling involves the dentist removing the tooth decay and then filling in the hole with a white composite or metal material.

Getting a filling will involve drilling, which requires numbing in order to prevent any pain. However, most numbing techniques for fillings include shots in the mouth. All of these steps should be discussed with your child before the procedure to reduce any panic. If your child is scared of needles, discuss the use of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, with your pediatric dentist.

What if it’s a Baby Tooth?

Unless the pediatric dentist feels the tooth will be coming out soon and does not deem a filling necessary, it’s recommended to fill a cavity on a baby tooth. This will preserve the tooth and prevent your child from losing baby teeth prematurely and causing a permanent tooth to come in improperly.

Cavity Prevention in Children

Once your child has their cavity filled and treated, it’s time to work on preventing anymore from happening. Establishing a healthy oral hygiene routine is a helpful way to ensure your children are brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily. They should also be rinsing their teeth after each meal and avoiding sugary candies, cookies, and other treats. Encourage your child to eat snacks that are good for their teeth, as well as drink water and milk in order to keep their smile healthy and strong.

If you have more questions about cavity treatment or how to prevent tooth decay, contact Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry today!