When a dentist advises a parent that their child has a cavity it can come as a real shock. This is especially true if you have been being diligent about brushing and flossing every day. Cavities happen for many different reasons, of course, a sugar-heavy diet is one reason, however, they can also be somewhat hereditary, such as having soft teeth, so there really is no need to start blaming yourself or one specific thing. Instead, it is worthwhile to learn about how cavities form, what you should do when they do happen and how you can work to prevent more from forming.
Let’s begin by looking at what to do when you learn that your child has their first cavity and how you can help them to reduce their chances of getting any more.
What Causes A Cavity to Form?
Diets that are high in sugar cause millions of children to suffer from tooth decay and cavities each and every year, as well as this, reduced calcium and fluoride and oral germs that are transferrable play their roles. Bacteria exist in your child’s mouth and this feeds off sugar, a domino effect then occurs as acid is created and it is the acid that likes to eat away at tooth enamel, hence resulting in decay. Over a period of time, the bacteria will also cause plaque to develop, this build-up can become hard, hence adding to enamel damage. The tooth then becomes depleted in calcium and a cavity starts to form.
What Do You Need to Do?
If your child has mentioned pain when they have something to eat or drink or a general toothache, ask them to open their mouth wide and take a good look inside. A brown or black stain or a hole is a telltale sign that a cavity has formed. If you spot something that looks like a cavity, do not delay in making an appointment with the dentist so that it can be checked and treated. Leaving a cavity untreated will only result in more pain and can even cause an infection to develop leaving the jawbone and gums at risk. It is also crucial to listen carefully to what the dentist recommends, these recommendations may come in the form of fluoride treatments, oral health care, or sealants to improve the overall oral health of your child.
Get Your Child into A Happy Frame of Mind Before The Appointment
It can be scary for a child to attend the dentist, especially when they understand that they have a cavity that needs to be treated. To ensure that the appointment goes as easily as possible for them, it is a good idea to have a little talk about it before you go. Give them lots of reassurance about the actual dentist and talk to them about how the dentist will help them to protect their lovely smile and teeth, do what you can to rid them of any nerves they may be feeling.
Giving them too many details may make them feel worse. Give vague answers to their questions so that their little minds do not run away with them and make them more anxious. You could even have a little role play where you are the dentist and play out what will happen, this will help them to form a positive association with the idea of going to the dentist.
Keep Things Positive
Children are very good at picking up on parents nerves. Sometimes, a parent has s fear of going to the dentist and this fear can easily be projected to the child. To reduce the risk of this happening try to stay as positive as you can. When the day comes for the appointment, keep in mind that our dental team is used to working with children and knows what to do to keep them calm and comfortable during the appointment. You can leave it to our team to explain to your child what the cavity is and how they are going to make it all better.
Give A Reward
A good way to get them sailing through the appointment and others that may come up is to give a little praise and a small reward for their bravery. This can help them to see the dentist as a positive person and will also give them a boost of self-confidence. Incentives tend to work great for helping children to make it happily thorough appointments such as cavity treatment.
What to Do to Reduce The Risk Of More Cavities Forming
Make sure that your child is thoroughly brushing and flossing each day, this is the first crucial step. It is also important that they keep a regular routine of going to the dentist for checkups and cleans. Another essential step to keep teeth in good health is to eliminate or at least limit sugary drinks and food, carbohydrates that are starch-based should also be limited as these accelerate bacteria growth. It’s also important to make sure that your children use fluoride-based toothpaste, this is particularly important if they drink bottled water on a regular basis or if the water in the city is fluoride-free. Fluoride is like a little warrior that fights the bacteria that cause cavities.
Cut Down on Sugary Snacks
The build-up of plaque and bacteria are the culprits behind cavities – and it is sugar that they love to feed off. If your child has a sweet tooth that they have been indulging of late it is time to reduce their intake as much as you can. Try to give them natural treats such as fruit instead of sugary treats. Try to never give a sugar snack before bedtime.
Keep an Eye on Their Brushing
Monitor brushing to make sure that your children understand the link between thorough brushing and avoiding cavities. Show them the best way to reach all of their teeth and gums. When your child gets their first cavity you can feel an awful sense of guilt. The truth is that in today’s world your child has a higher risk of developing tooth decay, even when compared to a decade ago, there is simply so much sugar and acidic food in today’s diet. The more that you can be proactive the more chance that your child will grow to have healthy teeth and gums. Do you want a little more help?
Contact us here at Collins Bay Dental and we can arrange for your child to come in and have a dental