Image of Young girl learning to brush from dentist

Kids Cavities and Fillings

Cavities are the most basic form of tooth decay, and children are particularly susceptible. Proper home hygiene and diet along with regular dental exams and teeth cleaning visits are the best defense against cavities, but even with these preventative measures, sometimes cavities can be hard to prevent. Certain kids are at a higher risk for cavities because of the nature of their teeth and how they positioned in the mouth. That’s why regular trips to the dentist are so important.

The sooner a child starts to see a dentist, the quicker we can identify conditions that contribute to a greater risk of developing cavities.

Cavities in children

Keeping baby teeth healthy is extremely important. Many parents believe that it’s not important to treat cavities in baby teeth because their child will lose these teeth eventually anyway. However, untreated cavities in baby teeth can have serious consequences on the dental and overall health of your child. Children with untreated decay may experience severe pain, infection, tooth loss, gum disease, sleep loss, inability to eat and poor self-esteem.

In addition, a single untreated cavity can harbor bacteria and potentially spread decay to other baby teeth and to the permanent teeth beneath the surface. Tooth decay in children (and adults) of all ages needs to be monitored very closely because of the short-term and lifelong adverse consequences and impact that dental disease can have if left untreated.

Dental fillings: stopping cavities in their tracks

When a cavity is detected, preventive and restorative measures are discussed. When a restoration is recommended, the dentist will start by removing the decay so it won’t continue to spread. Once the decay is removed, the dentist fills in where the decay was with a filling. Fillings can be made of amalgam (silver colored filling) or composite resin (white colored filling).

In select circumstances, other materials may be recommended by your dentist to restore a tooth. When possible, our dentists and dental team will attempt to provide you and your child with an option of same-day treatment. In circumstances where more extensive dental procedures are required, our staff will assist you in scheduling follow-up appointments.

Each child is different, so we personalize our approach to treatment of dental fillings based on the needs of the child and parental preferences. Key considerations include:

  • The age of the child
  • Number of cavities and/or extent of the decay
  • The child’s temperament
  • Developmental/behavioral factors

Our dentists review applicable treatment options with you for your child’s dental care needs and your child’s age and how your child does for their exam and cleaning or treatment. Our teams are specially trained in using “kid-friendly” terms to describe dental procedures and dental instruments to a child to minimize stress.

Don’t let cavities go untreated – if you think your child may have tooth decay, call us today!