Do you suspect that your child might have a cavity? Here is what you should do.
Know how to identify a cavity.
First, it’s important to determine whether your child does, in fact, have a cavity. Common signs of a cavity, as outlined in this post, include pain while chewing, tooth sensitivity when eating certain foods, white spots or chalky areas, and dark spots. Child behaviors that might also indicate a cavity include feeling around the mouth with the tongue and stopping talking to poke at a particular tooth. When in doubt, have your child’s dentist take a look at your child’s teeth. Even if the pain isn’t caused by a cavity, chances are there is a still a problem that needs to be addressed by a pedodontist.
Don’t pull the tooth.
Especially if your child has already begun to lose teeth, you might be thinking, “Why not just pull it? It’s a baby tooth anyway!” But as we’ll discuss below on the importance of caring for baby teeth, pulling a tooth prematurely could cause severe pain for your child, not to mention lead to improper tooth alignment later on.
Visit your child’s dentist.
Ultimately, of course, taking your child to visit his or her dentist is the best thing you can do to address any cavities and associated pain. Your dentist can help you understand what may have led to the cavity (the presence of harmful bacteria, improper brushing techniques, etc.), and discuss treatment options such as placing a cap over the tooth, placing a filling, or using a basic cement material to keep the tooth in place. It’s best to have a pedodontist perform any intensive treatments on your child’s teeth, as a pedodontist will have experience in working with a child’s growing teeth.
Don’t underestimate the importance of caring for baby teeth.
Some people wonder why you should even bother addressing cavities in baby teeth, as these teeth will ultimately fall out anyway. It’s highly important to care for baby teeth, however, for a number of reasons. First, your child’s smile will affect his or her self-esteem and confidence in life. In addition, a baby tooth that falls out prematurely could lead to improper tooth alignment later. Not treating baby teeth could also lead to severe pain and discomfort in your child’s mouth. Baby teeth are also essential for proper speech development and good nutrition through proper chewing.
In short, caring for your child’s baby teeth and addressing issues as they arise will ultimately support strong oral health and overall physical health.