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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.

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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

How Can Pediatric Dentists Help Young Children With Cavities?

by April Myers

Getting a cavity can be an unpleasant experience for adults. The pain caused by the cavity itself and the discomfort of treatment can be stressful and upsetting. However, the experience is even worse for children who are too young to understand what's happening. Kids can develop cavities as soon as their baby teeth emerge. If your child is suffering from tooth pain, a pediatric dental specialist can diagnose and treat the cause. Here are three things a pediatric dentist will do to help young children with cavities: 

1. Take X-rays.

Dental X-rays are a safe diagnostic tool that dentists often use to find cavities. If your child complains of tooth pain or if they're crying more frequently and refusing to eat, they may have a cavity. Schedule an appointment with your child's pediatric dentist. Their dentist will take bitewing X-rays which will provide pictures of the tooth in question. Some pediatric dentists prefer to avoid routine X-rays until children are older, but diagnostic X-rays are safe for children of all ages.

2. Monitor the cavity.

Children have baby teeth that will one day fall out to make way for their permanent teeth. If cavities are small and aren't causing your child any pain, your pediatric dentist may prefer to simply monitor the tooth for changes. Small cavities don't pose a real threat to your child's overall oral health. Cavities only become dangerous when they affect the dentin and pulp of a tooth; at that point, they pose a risk of infection. If your child is very young, the dentist will probably want to monitor their cavities until they grow old enough to cooperate during a cavity filling procedure.

3. Fill your child's cavity.

If your child is in pain or the dentist is concerned about the cavity, they may want to go ahead with the treatment. If your child is old enough to respond to verbal commands, a pediatric dentist will try to perform the treatment using local anesthetic only. Local anesthetic is injected into the gums surrounding a tooth. It will allow your child's dentist to drill away decay and fill the empty space without causing your child pain. If your child is too young to cooperate during their treatment, the dentist may need to put them to sleep using general anesthesia. While general anesthesia has some risks, an anesthesiologist will be present to monitor your child throughout the procedure.

For more information, speak with pediatric dental specialists like those at Dentistry For Children & Adolescents

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