February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! To kick off this month, we’re discussing all you need to know about children’s dental care. If a child have a cavity and are concerned about their dental hygiene or would like to brush up on some relevant information, continue reading. Our hope at North Pointe Dental Associates is to keep you informed so your family receives the best dental knowledge possible.
So, what about dental hygiene are we discussing in this blog?
Today, we’re discussing cavities! Yes, that’s right — cavities.
We know you don’t like hearing about them and we especially know you don’t like having them but an informed patient is a healthy patient! So, let’s get to it.
How to Know If Your Child Has a Cavity
Cavity care for adults is quite similar to cavity care for children. There are a few tell-tale signs that your child has a cavity such as:
● Tooth pain
● Tooth sensitivity
● You can see holes in their teeth when they open their mouth
● Dark spots on their teeth
● They have bad breath
…Yes, that’s right — even your child can get bad breath. The culprit for that less than pleasant odor? It just so happens that there’s more than one.
The most common reason for bad breath is poor dental hygiene — and that is exactly why we stress the importance of preventative dentistry because brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day can be exactly what keeps the dentist away! Other reasons for bad breath (halitosis) include but are not limited to: dehydration, illness, or a child’s ear, nose or throat.
Simply put, when we teach our children to maintain a healthy oral routine, we help them decrease their chances of having cavities. Cavities occur from the bacteria in your mouth and can often lead to other oral diseases such as tooth decay or more serious forms of periodontal disease. Once the bacteria softens the teeth, holes form creating a less than healthy smile. Cavities easily develop from foods and drinks — especially sugary drinks. It’s important to reduce your intake of sugars and starches as much as possible for a healthy smile.
How do I treat my child’s cavity?
The first step to treating your child’s cavity is speaking with your dentist. Your dentist will want to ensure that your child is old enough to receive a filling if necessary. Unfortunately, treating cavities require a drill which may be intimidating depending on your child’s comfortability with being in the dental chair.
It’s important to speak with your dentist about ways to numb the area that need to be treated. You can ask if laughing gas is an option so your child can do without the needle.
The Answer to a Healthy Smile is Simple: Preventative Dentistry
As we mentioned earlier, preventative dentistry is key to ensuring both you and your children have healthy smiles. This includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day (more if possible!).
One of the most important takeaways from this article is that temporary teeth deserve the same dental care as permanent teeth. Prevent tooth decay and prevent cavities by attending your biannual cleanings and checkups with your son or daughter. Also, remember to invest in fluoride toothpaste to optimize your teeth brushing experience!
If you have questions about dental care for your children, we’re happy to answer and refer you to a pediatric dentist: (813) 961-1727.