White Fillings in Hurst,TX
White Fillings for Kids in Hurst, TX
Is It Common for Children to Have Cavities?
Unfortunately, cavities are extraordinarily common among children, including very young children. In fact, tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease among children in the United States. According to the most recent data from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, approximately 28% of American children between the ages of 2 and 5 have cavities in their primary (“baby”) teeth, as do 51% of children between the ages of 6 and 11. Additionally, about 21% of children between the ages of 6 and 11 have had cavities in their permanent teeth.
For many children, getting a cavity isn’t a one-off event, either. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research’s most recent data indicates that American children between the ages of 2 and 5 have an average of 2.58 baby tooth surfaces that are decayed or that have been filled, and that children between the ages of 6 and 11 have an average of 4.30 decayed or filled baby tooth surfaces. On top of that, children between the ages of 6 and 11 have an average of 0.68 decayed or filled permanent tooth surfaces.
What may be even more shocking is that many of these cavities go untreated. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 children between the ages of 5 and 11 has at least one untreated decayed tooth.
Is It Necessary to Fill Cavities in Baby Teeth?
Since baby teeth will eventually fall out anyway, you may be wondering whether it’s really necessary to fill cavities in baby teeth. The answer is an emphatic yes!
Cavities are caused by a bacterial infection. If left untreated, the infection can spread into the tooth’s nerve and even to other parts of your child’s body. Untreated cavities in baby teeth can lead to serious short- and long-term health problems, including
- Pain, including pain that is so severe it disrupts sleep;
- Baby teeth that are lost too soon, which can lead to crooked teeth, bite problems, and difficulty speaking clearly;
- Difficulty eating, due to pain or premature tooth loss, which can lead to malnutrition and failure to thrive; and
- Serious infections, including, in extreme cases, life-threatening infections like Ludwig’s Angina.
How Are Children’s Cavities Treated?
While very deep cavities may require your child’s pediatric dentist to perform pediatric pulp therapy or even extract a tooth, pediatric dentists are able to treat many cavities by simply removing the decayed portion of the tooth with a drill and then restoring the tooth’s shape and function using a filling material.
At Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, we offer white fillings (also referred to as tooth-colored fillings) that are similar to your child’s natural teeth in both color and texture. They blend in well with your child’s teeth and can help your child smile, talk and eat with confidence and comfort.
If your child is unable to tolerate having a cavity drilled and filled, whether due to your child’s age or special needs or dental anxiety, we can discuss with you whether a form of pediatric dental sedation could be a good option for your child or whether treating the cavity with silver diamine fluoride might buy your child some extra time.
How Can I Prevent Cavities in My Kid’s Teeth?
You can minimize your child’s risk of cavities by brushing your child’s teeth twice a day starting from the time your baby’s first tooth emerges, flossing once a day as soon as your child has two teeth that touch, and visiting a pediatric dentist regularly beginning no later than your child’s first birthday. Professional preventative treatments, like fluoride varnish and dental sealants, can also reduce the risk of cavities in kids.
White Fillings for Kids in DFW
At Hurst Pediatric Dentistry, our goal is to provide the preventative care and oral health education you need to help keep your child’s teeth free of cavities. However, should your child ever develop a cavity, we are here for you. Call us today at (817) 510-6400 to book an appointment for your child, or request an appointment online.
Dr. Lin is a board-certified pediatric dentist in Hurst, Texas, who provides preventative and restorative dental care to children from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.