Child tooth decay is one of the common conditions affecting children. Some will rank it second after the common cold. For this reason, many parents are on the lookout for the best child tooth decay treatment options.
When a child’s tooth structure is destroyed by decay, the implication is that there has been some consistent negligence in eliminating plague. Plague that is left in teeth has bacteria feeding on sugars and starch and causes the production of the acid responsible for tooth decay. Your dentist may also refer to it as dental caries or cavity.
Bacterial build up, poor oral care, the consumption of water that has little or no fluoride, and a diet rich in sugars and starch are among the common causes of dental caries in children. Having a low flow of saliva may also predispose to cavity. Luckily, all these causes can be prevented and tooth cavity obstructed.
Preempting Child Tooth Decay
The primary way to address dental cavity is by preventing it. This implies taking good care of your child’s teeth through the following dental hygiene practices.
Hire a child dentist as early as when the child is 6 months old
You may have witnessed cases where children grow teeth already affected by dental cavity. Dentists explain that dental caries runs in families and most children are infected with the decay-causing bacteria before the age of 2. Hiring a child dentist early gives you the possibility of getting professional advice on how to protect your child.
Introduce brushing as soon as the first tooth appears
Yes, you read that right. Brushing your child’s teeth, gum and tongue should be done soon as the first tooth appears. Cavity may not wait for the teeth to multiply. An amount of fluoride toothpaste the size of a rice grain should be used twice daily.
Consider using water flossers for kids
With the high amount of sugars and starch that children consume, flossing should be part of children’s daily oral hygiene right from the beginning. This will ensure that no plaque is held between teeth, thus, curbing decay-causing bacteria. Water flossers for kids make flossing easy and fun.
Limit your child’s intake of sticky and sugary foods and drinks
Children have a sweet tooth. They enjoy sugary foods like chocolates, candies, and cakes. Chips, soda, and juices are also among the foods that children will not resist. All these are good sources of sugar and starch and, therefore, agents of tooth decay. Limiting the intake of these products will also reduce your child’s exposure to tooth decay.
Avoid sharing eating utensils with your child
Parents will readily feed their child with the same utensil they are using or even clean their child’s pacifier with their saliva. This passes the tooth decay bacteria to your child and should be avoided.
Use water and not milk or juices in your child’s bedtime bottle
Using milk or juice in your child’s bedtime bottle means that the sugar and starch will be in your child’s teeth every night. This puts them at a high risk of bedtime bottle dental cavity. Consider using water as an alternative.
Professional Child Tooth Decay Treatment Options
Even with these good practices, dental caries may still affect your child and, hence, the need to seek child tooth decay treatment options. Depending on the condition of your child’s tooth or the stage of the decay, the dentist may propose one of these treatment choices.
Tooth cavity starts with the destruction of the enamel. This manifests with the appearance of white spots on the affected area. With time, the cavity reveals in a light brown color and eventually a deeper dark brown cavity.
Fluoride treatment repairs the damaged enamel. Fluoride varnish or gel is applied on the white spots to replenish the tooth with the missing minerals. The dentist also recommends the consistent use of fluoride toothpaste to help repair the damage and halt the decay.
Once the initial white spots have turned into a cavity, your child’s tooth will need to be filled. Fillings are also referred to as restorations because they involve the elimination of the decayed part of the tooth and its replacement with filling. The first step in the filling procedure is to remove the decayed part of the tooth by drilling. Subsequently, the dentist fills the cavity with a direct or indirect restoration.
Direct restorations are fillings done directly on the cavity. They involve the use of tooth-colored fillings made of silver, resin or glass powder among other material. Indirect restorations are fillings that are constructed and then affixed to the tooth. They include crowns, onlays, and veneers and are made of metals such as silver, gold or even ceramics.
Considering that children have temporary teeth that are eventually replaced by adult ones, direct restorations may be a cheaper and faster option. Besides, filling does not necessarily eliminate the recurrence of a cavity, which would mean removing the old filling and putting a new one.
This child tooth decay treatment option is recommended when the cavity is at its advanced stage. The damage has consumed the enamel and reached the pulp.
To prevent further damage, the infected part of the tooth is eliminated and in its place, a medicated filling is placed. The filling is done in 2 or three sessions. Once the filling is done, the tooth is then covered with a crown. The intent is to block future possibilities of bacterial infection.
Root canals are advised for your child at this stage of the cavity because they restore the normal use of the tooth that would otherwise cause consistent pain and discomfort. Once the root canal is performed, your child can apply the normal force on the tooth when chewing and biting. The repair of the tooth also protects the rest of the teeth from strain.
When the infection on a tooth has reached the pulp and the ligament, the dentist may need to deliver the bad news that your child’s tooth needs to be extracted. One reasons this news is not the best is that an unnatural gap on your child’s gum has unfavorable consequences on the other teeth and on those that grow later.
If the gap is left without replacement, the neighboring teeth may move to fill the gap and cause the adult teeth to grow unnaturally when they eventually appear. To avoid this, the dentist may suggest that a prosthetic be placed in the gap.
When the decision for extraction is made, the dentist uses nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) or local anesthesia to protect your child from the pain of the procedure. Numbing your child from pain is also done for all the other treatment procedures discussed previously. Once the extraction is done, the dentist will sterilize the affected area, and if need be, make a few stitches to facilitate healing. If the decision for a false tooth is made, it will be done when the extraction wound is completely healed.
Natural Child Tooth Decay Treatment Options
Asking whether tooth decay can be reversed has often been answered in negation. It appears, however, that this answer is not precise. Studies and observations have proven that it is possible to rid your child’s tooth of cavity through natural remedies. This lists natural remedies among the child tooth decay treatment options you could consider. Here are some natural ways of treating your child’s dental caries.
Feed your child with a healthy diet
Feeding your child with natural food and eliminating over processed foods gives them the necessary minerals for teeth and bone health. Teeth, just like all body organs, have a natural growth system and can be healed of bacterial infection if the body is replenished with lacking minerals.
A diet rich with fat-soluble minerals such as vitamin A, D, E, and K has been proven to greatly improve teeth health. Indeed, a remote study published in the British Medical Journal confirmed that children who ate a cereal-free diet rich in vitamin D and calcium had their tooth cavity reversed to near complete healing during the 6 months of the experiment.
The allicin in garlic has always been considered a natural antibacterial compound. Ingesting garlic or consistently adding it to your food helps balance the ratio of good and bad bacteria in your mouth and consequently block cavity-causing bacteria.
Salt weakens the bacteria that cause caries. When used daily to gargle before bed, the kitchen ingredient will significantly reduce your child’s cavity issues. Salt is also considered a natural antibacterial and antiseptic remedy.
When considering child tooth decay treatment options, it is important to remember that the best solution to dental caries is to prevent it. If the preventive efforts do not yield fruit and your child develops a cavity, fluoride treatments can help revert the condition in the early stages. Once tooth decay is in an advanced stage, your dentist will judge if your child’s tooth can be treated with filling or if it needs to be extracted.
Feeding your child with a nutrient-rich diet can naturally correct dental caries. Ensure that your child’s diet has good amounts of vitamin D and calcium.