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About 42% of children between the ages of two and 11 have cavities in their primary teeth. Though common, without early intervention and treatment, cavities can increase the risk of more serious health problems and make it difficult for your child to bite and chew. At Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry in Yorktown Heights, New York, Staci Brunell, DMD, and the team provide fillings for cavities on-site. To schedule an appointment for your child, book a consultation online, or call the office today.
Cavities are holes that form in your child’s tooth enamel. These holes are small at first but grow in size over time.
Cavities occur for a variety of reasons, including poor oral hygiene, bacteria in the mouth, and frequent snacking. When caught early on, it’s possible to preserve your child’s tooth and prevent the need for an extraction.
Cavities affect every child differently. Common symptoms include:
If your child has a cavity, they might also experience a sharp, shooting pain when biting or chewing.
To diagnose cavities, your child’s provider at Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry conducts a comprehensive oral exam and reviews their medical history. They also ask you or your child questions about their lifestyle, including how often they brush their teeth, the types of foods they eat, and the severity of their pain.
In most cases, cavities are visible to the naked eye. However, your child’s provider might also take X-rays to get a closer look at the tooth roots and jawbones or to look for signs of infection.
Treatment for cavities depends on the type of tooth damaged and the severity of the decay. If your child still has primary (baby) teeth, their provider might recommend a dental sealant. A sealant is a thin, protective coating that prevents further decay. It blocks harmful bacteria from damaging your child’s enamel further.
If your child has their permanent teeth, their provider might recommend a filling. A filling restores your child’s tooth to its near-original shape and size. Prior to administering a filling, your child’s provider carefully removes the decaying portion of their tooth.
Afterward, they apply a thin coating of resin to the tooth and wait for it to dry. They repeat this process several times until the desired result is achieved. The process takes 60-90 minutes and is relatively pain-free.
If your child has dental anxiety or a low pain threshold, let your child’s provider know. They can administer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for sedation, ensuring your child’s comfort throughout treatment.
Don’t wait to have your child’s cavities treated. Schedule an appointment at Yorktown Pediatric Dentistry. Book a consultation online, or call the office today.