No parent wants to hear that his or her child has a cavity. You may wonder if you’ve done anything wrong or be unsure whether a child cavity in a baby tooth really needs filling. In this blog, the pediatric dentists at Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics explain how you can help prepare for your child’s cavity filling and answer some common questions you may have.
Why does your child have a cavity?
Cavities can be more likely to develop if your child – with or without your help – doesn’t brush or floss well or eats or drinks a lot of sugary foods or beverages. But in some cases, a child’s cavity can appear because of other factors, such as how close together their teeth are or the composition of your child’s mouth bacteria.
Do baby teeth need to be filled?
Many parents wonder why cavities in baby teeth need to be filled if they’re going to be replaced by permanent teeth anyway.
In most cases, a child cavity should be filled as soon as possible. That’s because an unfilled cavity can cause pain or even an abscess (pocket of pus) and infection. And a baby tooth that’s lost prematurely can cause problems for the permanent tooth that comes in behind it.
In addition, cavities can cause severe damage more quickly in baby teeth than in permanent teeth. That’s because of its center, which is filled with nerves and the tooth’s blood supply, is larger and closer to the tooth’s surface than in a permanent tooth. A cavity can reach this area more quickly in baby teeth.
How can you make your child feel at ease?
Having a cavity filled by a pediatric dentist can help put your child at ease. Family dentists can fill a child’s cavity, but pediatric dentists have special training in treating children’s dental needs. In addition, their offices are child-friendly, often providing fun activities and a colorful, welcoming environment. The dentists and staff are accustomed to making children feel comfortable and in explaining procedures in a truthful way that won’t make them nervous.
In addition, you should be aware that your child will pick up on your demeanor. Stay calm, and don’t use words like “shots” or “drill” that will make your child tense. Your dentist can help you explain the procedure to your child in a way that won’t frighten him or her.
You may also want to read a book to your child about going to the dentist so he or she will feel more at ease. Letting your child bring along a favorite stuffed animal can also help provide some comfort, and the dentist may be able to use it to help demonstrate some of what your child can expect.
If your child needs regular dental care or have a cavity filled, make an appointment today with Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics. We specialize in gentle dental care, and our entire staff excels at making each child feel comfortable and calm while they receive the highest level of care. Call (212) 879-6518 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.