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Brushing and flossing are essential for the prevention of cavities. However, children tend to be more prone to cavities than adults. Untreated, cavities only continue to grow, destroying the affected tooth, and can lead to serious infections. At Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry, we can treat cavities with tooth-colored fillings.
How Does Your Child Get Cavities?
Cavities are small pits in the enamel of your child’s teeth that form as a result of tooth decay. Your child’s mouth naturally contains oral bacteria. These bacteria thrive on sugars. If your child falls asleep with a bottle, or they do not properly brush their teeth, the oral bacteria are given plenty of opportunities to eat. As they do, they produce acids, which eat away at the hard enamel layer of the teeth. Eventually, pits form in the teeth, and bacteria can take shelter inside, where they continue their destruction.
Diagnosing a Cavity
Some cavities can be diagnosed with a simple oral exam. We are highly trained in spotting the signs of decay and go tooth by tooth in search of it. In some instances, cavities may be hidden from view, sitting between the teeth. An x-ray is then used to spot these areas of decay. As long as the cavity is not exceptionally large, we move ahead with the filling.
Why Tooth-Colored Fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings, which are made of composite resin, match the color of your child’s natural teeth, providing an aesthetic restoration for their cavities. This makes them wonderful fillings for teeth that are more toward the front of the mouth. They are strong and can handle normal biting and chewing pressure, which means they can be used for small cavities in your child’s molars.
How Are Fillings Placed?
The procedure for getting a filling is quick and simple. We start by making your child comfortable. We understand that getting a filling can be a scary procedure. Then we will administer a local anesthetic. The decay is removed from the tooth, and it is cleaned, disinfected, and dried. Next we use a prime and bond system, which creates a surface so that the composite resin will bond to the tooth. This is set with a blue curing light. That is washed away, and the tooth dried again. The composite is then placed in the area, shaped and cured. We then put a sealant over the filling to add another layer of protection for the tooth.
Does Getting Fillings Hurt?
The local anesthetic is designed to numb the area, ensuring that your child will not feel any pain. The only thing they may feel is the water that is sprayed on the tooth, and the pressure of the tools. Once the procedure is complete, your child may experience some tooth sensitivity, but this should dissipate over the following two weeks.
With twice daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental cleanings and exams, your child can take action to prevent cavities from occurring. If your child has a cavity, call Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry today at (253) 466-1696!