Kid's and Cavities?
Many teenagers and adults have experienced the “fun” of finding out they have a cavity and the ensuing “joy” of getting their cavity filled. The whizzing sound of the drill is permanently etched into the psyche of many a soul. One subject that is often not recognized enough (and/or misunderstood) by many families is the reality of kids getting cavities. I can hear you know – “Umm, they’re baby teeth – they get replaced, is it really a big deal if they get a cavity?” Well, yes, cavities in a child’s baby (primary) teeth can be a big deal.
Why is a kid getting a cavity a big deal?
It is important for you to understand why cavities in baby teeth are, in fact, a big deal. First off, a child’s permanent teeth grow directly under their baby teeth. If a cavity in a baby tooth is bad enough, the bacteria and tooth decay can spread downward and affect the development of the permanent tooth. Secondly, as the permanent teeth grow underneath the baby teeth, any tooth decay can potentially cause the adult teeth to move. This can create problems with the alignment of your child’s permanent teeth and with their bite.
When should I start to be concerned about my kid’s dental health?
The short answer is “as soon as they get teeth”. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, “In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday” Preventative care is critical for the long-term dental health of your child.
What should I (as a parent) be mindful of?
You probably hear this quite often from your dental hygienist – but seriously, floss. It is important that you teach your kids healthy behaviors when they are young, so they can carry this behavior through life. Make sure your kids are brushing their teeth and flossing. If the kids aren’t big fans of standard floss, you can have them try the floss/toothpick combos. Also, you can provide your kid with anti-cavity mouthwash. Learning to take proper care of their baby teeth will help ensure your kids will continue these healthy behaviors as they grow older. Furthermore, behaviors and lifestyles that can benefit your child’s dental health can benefit their overall health. For example, encourage your kid to avoid soda/pop. Limit processed sugar intake – switch up that ding dong for an apple. As with adults, unhealthy eating habits in children can (and will) lead to tooth decay.
Who should I contact?
The professionals at Kavanaugh Dentistry will be more than happy to answer any kid cavity-related questions you may have. If your child does suffer a cavity, the corresponding response will most likely to have the cavity filled – you simply cannot “let-it-go” until the baby tooth falls out. Feel free to reach out to us for information, advice, and/or to schedule your (or your kid’s) next appointment.