You should never take tooth decay lightly. Tooth decay doesn’t affect only adults. Because primary teeth are softer than permanent teeth, toddlers and younger kids are at an increased risk of developing tooth decay and cavities.
Tooth Decay Treatment
A pediatric dentist like Dr. Surillo knows that children aged from 2 to 11 have a reportedly high development rate for cavities and tooth decay. Tooth decay is a widespread chronic disease caused by harmful bacteria that feed on sugar and lives in our mouths. When children forget to brush their teeth, floss daily, and have a high-in-sugar diet, they create the conditions for bacteria to degrade their teeth.
Decay may start as some darker spots on a baby’s teeth, but it will continue to result in eroding the teeth until the inner soft tissue is at risk. Once the bacteria reach the pulp, it infects the blood vessels and nerves inside the tooth. Such an infection may cause your child to lose some of their teeth.
Prematurely losing primary teeth may result in developmental complications. A kid with fewer teeth when their mouths are not yet ready to grow permanent teeth will develop orthodontic problems, like overcrowding. Children may have trouble learning to speak correctly with missing teeth, resulting in learning difficulties.
Those are some of the reasons why we take tooth decay seriously. What do we do to fight it and give your child the healthiest smile they can have?
Let’s Talk Tooth Decay Prevention
The safest course of action is to prevent tooth decay altogether. You may have already heard that we consider tooth brushing and flossing is vital for your teeth, and we say it so much that it may even seem trivial. But helping a kid brush their teeth and teaching them to floss is essential to their dental health.
You should start helping your kids brush their teeth as soon as the first primary tooth erupts. You can start with some gauze and water, then move to a soft-bristle toothbrush and kid-friendly toothpaste; just remember to avoid toothpaste until later on. You should ask your dentist when it is ok to switch to fluoride toothpaste.
Take your child to a pediatric dentist to get all the professional help they need.
When a Kid’s Dentist Has to Remove Teeth
There will be some situations where the dentist may recommend pulling a tooth that has suffered much decay. If the infection spread to most of the tooth, and a permanent tooth is about to erupt, the dentist might just pull the infected tooth.
The process to remove a tooth is not complicated, but if the child suffered an infection and now needs to have their tooth extracted, we must proceed carefully but with a sense of urgency. Infections may spread to other parts of the body and endanger a child’s health.
We perform such extractions here in the office. Get in touch with us if your kid needs our help.
What We Do to Avoid Removing Teeth
We mentioned that the premature loss of primary teeth could result in severe complications for any young patient. Dr. Surillo and the rest of the staff work hard to avoid such things from happening. Thankfully, several restorative treatments are at our disposal to help preserve the dental structures and avoid creating more problems.
A dental health professional with a background in orthodontics like Dr. Surillo can tell you that primary teeth are necessary to avoid some orthodontic problems in a patient’s teen years.
We offer dual-specialty care in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. We know that sometimes we have to go the extra mile to help your child solve their immediate dental health problems and avoid hurting their proper dental development.
We would recommend a pulpectomy to avoid extracting a primary tooth and clearing any decay or infection. A pulpectomy ensures that we clean every bit of soft tissue inside a tooth that suffered an infection. We drill into a tooth, clean it inside, and fill it with some inert material that provides the tooth with a much-needed reinforcement.
Because tooth decay affects a tooth’s shape, your pediatric dentist may also recommend installing a crown that restores the tooth’s original form and its functionality.
Get Professional Help When It Matters the Most
You can do much to prevent tooth decay at home, so remember to teach your kid how to brush their teeth and how to floss between the teeth. Make sure to help them keep their mouths as clean as possible to avoid problems like tooth decay. However, if there are signs of tooth decay like dark spots on your child’s teeth, you should consider taking them to a professional.
The sooner you act, the better the chances of saving your kid’s teeth. Give us a call, or set an appointment online to get your child whatever help they need to have a healthy smile!