Even with the most diligent oral hygiene, cavities may appear on your child’s teeth. Dr. Nigel Grandison of Kids Care Dental and Orthodontics can identify this decay and treat it before the tooth falls out or needs to be extracted. Regular cleanings at either the Pembroke Pines, Florida location or the Plantation, Florida location will help your child stop a cavity in its tracks. Call either location to make an appointment, or use the online booking agent to have your child’s teeth checked for cavities.
Cavities Q & A
What are dental caries?
Dental caries is another name for cavities. A cavity occurs when the enamel, dentin, or cementum of a tooth begins to decay due to exposure to bacteria. Cavities usually develop between the teeth, at the gum line, or on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
Cavities are largely preventable with good oral hygiene, which includes brushing twice daily, regular flossing, and consistent visits to Kids Care Dental and Orthodontics. Avoiding sugary foods, including soda and candy, also helps prevent cavities. These foods promote the growth of bacteria and plaque, which leads to decay.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. Plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy foods, resulting in the production of acids that break down the tooth enamel. When plaque remains on the teeth for an extended period of time, the bacteria can then eat away at the surfaces of the teeth.
How are cavities diagnosed?
Dr. Grandison identifies cavities at regular dental visits. His examination reveals sticky points that need to be filled. X-rays also reveal places in which the teeth are beginning to decay and require a filling.
How are cavities treated?
When caught early enough, a cavity can be filled in a relatively simple procedure. Dr. Grandison numbs the area around the affected tooth, cleans out any decayed enamel or dentin, fills the area, and then files down the tooth to match your child’s bite. In most cases, anesthesia is unnecessary for a simple filling.
More extensive fillings, such as when several teeth are affected or the decay is deep, may require multiple visits or sedation.
How can cavities be prevented?
Encourage your child to brush at least twice per day. Younger children benefit from assistance from their parents. Flossing gets between the teeth to discourage cavities from occurring in these hard-to-reach areas.
Ask Dr. Grandison about sealants, which protect hard to reach grooves and pits that can still decay even with diligent cleanings.
Avoid allowing toddlers and babies to sleep with a bottle full of anything but water. Milk, formula, and juice contain sugars which only bathe the child’s teeth as they sleep — encouraging the development of bacteria and decay. Feed your child a well-balanced diet that moderates sugary and starchy foods, too.