Valleau, VanDeven & Massie Dentistry for Children
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How Do Dentists Fill Cavities? Treatment Options for Tooth Decay in Children

March 22, 2022
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Posted By: Valleau, VanDeven, & Massie Dentistry for Children Team
Group of kids smiling at pediatric dentist near me Grand Rapids

Tooth decay is the most common childhood illness in the country, but it is preventable. Your children's dentist in Rockford and Grand Rapids, MI emphasizes prevention to lower risks. However, most kids will get at least a few cavities during childhood.

Let's explore preventive dentistry and how we treat cavities when they do occur.

Preventing Tooth Decay with Your Child's Grand Rapids, MI Dentist

Want to lower your child's cavity risks? Bringing your child to the dentist around the time of their first tooth eruption is an excellent start. From there, we like to see children every six months unless there is an oral health issue that warrants a more frequent or customized schedule.

At these early visits, the dentist and our team members can teach you how to best care for your child's teeth at home. This advice may include teeth cleaning techniques for toddlers, assisted brushing tips for growing children, and nutritional counseling to mitigate tooth decay.

We are also always available if you have questions about at-home oral hygiene for your child and how to prevent cavities in toddlers.

If your child is prone to cavities, the dentist may recommend a dental sealant at some point. This sealant keeps cavity-causing plaque and bacteria from forming on teeth, which leads to tooth decay.

We provide comprehensive teeth cleaning for older children, ridding teeth and gums of plaque, tartar, and bacteria.

Children's Tooth Decay Treatment Options

If your child has a cavity, you may not notice. This is because cavities can be small at first, but they grow over time. However, if symptoms do show up, your child may complain of tooth pain, or you might notice a dark or discolored spot on the tooth.

Typically, your child's Rockford, MI dentist diagnoses a dental cavity during a routine dental exam.

If your child does have a cavity, we typically treat it by anesthetizing the area, removing the decay, and closing the tooth with a tooth-colored filling or a dental crown.

Dental Fillings vs. Crowns

A dental filling is made of composite resin and is applied in layers to a treated tooth. When the filling is complete, your dentist sets the resin with a special light. A tooth-colored filling is ideal for a small to moderate dental cavity.

We may recommend a dental crown for large cavities to stabilize the tooth and prevent fracture. A tooth crown is a cap that fits over a treated tooth to the gumline. It is customized to match your child's smile.

How to Treat Cavities in Baby Teeth

In some cases, we recommend filling a cavity, even if it's in a baby tooth. We want the baby tooth to remain healthy and viable until it's time for the adult tooth beneath to erupt. However, if it's almost time for the baby tooth to come out, we may decide to wait, especially if the cavity is small and the baby tooth is already loose.

Contact Valleau, VanDeven, & Massie Dentistry for Children in Michigan to Learn More

Keeping your child's smile healthy is our top priority. If you have questions or if it's time to schedule your child's dental checkup in Rockford or Grand Rapids, MI, reach out to a team member today at (616) 455-1301. Additionally, if you're new to the area, we are happy to accept new children into our dental family!

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