Types of Treatment Options Available for Common Childhood Dental Diseases
Children’s teeth are more sensitive than adults, and their mouths are smaller, which means that dental diseases can be a constant threat for children of all ages. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 20% of Americans aged 6 to 44 have lost at least one tooth due to dental disease! That’s why it is so important to take steps in order to detect any problems early on. In this article you will learn about the different treatments available for common childhood dental diseases such as cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and more! If your child has been diagnosed with a dental problem–or if you just want to prevent them from getting one–keep reading!
Cavities (tooth decay): Tooth decay is the most common dental problem in children. Even though this doesn’t sound like much, it causes pain and can affect your child’s ability to eat–and even talk!–properly. If you suspect that your child has a cavity, visit the dentist as soon as possible! Fluoride treatments are the best way to prevent cavities in children.
Fluoride treatments: Fluoride treatments help clean your teeth and will strengthen any remaining enamel left on them, which can prevent future problems! This treatment is often recommended for patients with limited access to water fluoridation throughout the day, or for small children who are difficult to keep still.
Fluoride varnish: If your kids are young, they might find it hard to sit through an entire fluoride treatment. To make things easier for your child and more comfortable for them, you can apply a protective layer of fluoride varnish onto their teeth. This will strengthen the enamel that has already been cleaned by the gel!
Fillings: Fillings are another way to help fix any cavities in your children’s teeth. Your dentist will remove the decayed part of your child’s tooth–this is called “extracting” –before cleaning up any leftover decay with a filling.
Root canals: A root canal can be an invasive process that should only be used when the tooth is already infected with bacteria. The roots of your child’s tooth will be cleaned up before an antibiotic is applied to kill any remaining bacteria. Once the treatment is finished, you will need to place a crown on top of your child’s tooth in order to prevent future issues!
Tooth extractions (pulling teeth): Your dentist might recommend extraction if your child’s decay has gone too far past their enamel or if they already have another dental problem such as an infected tooth. Keep in mind that teeth aren’t like nails: You can successfully re-implant them, and it is possible for children to get their natural teeth back!
Space maintainers: If your child has a lot of cavities or if they already had one extracted, they might be fitted with space maintainers. These devices prevent more teeth from being lost by holding the area open until the permanent adult teeth come through. Once this process–called “eruption” –occurs, you will need to start brushing more vigorously because the increased pressure from erupting teeth can increase your risk for developing more cavities on these surrounding areas!
Gum disease: One of the more common childhood dental diseases, gum disease is very serious if left untreated! Visit your kid’s dentist right away if you notice any redness or swelling in their gums. They will most likely need to get a deep cleaning before getting fitted for special mouth guards designed to protect them while they sleep at night!
The best way to prevent your child from developing any of the above dental problems is by brushing their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, limiting sugary foods and drinks, taking care of their baby teeth until they fall out, visiting our family dentist in Stuart once every 6 months. If you have a young child that can be difficult to keep still in the dentist’s chair, ask your dentist about fluoride treatments and apply a protective layer of fluoride varnish onto their teeth before bed! If they already have cavities or gum disease treatment might be necessary–keep an eye on them for signs like swelling or redness around gums.