During the holiday season, eating and drinking sugary treats tend to be the norm. We try our best to limit the candy and cookies and make sure our kids are extra attentive to their teeth yet are surprised when the dentist says your child has a cavity. Now, what do you do?
DON’T PANIC OR GET UPSET
It’s important that you don’t panic or get upset when you’re told that your child has a cavity. Cavities can happen to anyone, at any time. Even children who regularly brush and floss daily can get cavities. When the dentist tells you of your child’s cavity, stay calm. If your child appears upset by the news, reassure them that it is okay and that they shouldn’t worry. If you are unsure how to react to your child getting a cavity, you can always follow the lead of our staff at Alameda Pediatric Dentistry. We have experience explaining to children about upcoming dental procedures and make sure that they’re calm and relaxed.
GET THE CAVITY FILLED
Parents often believe that if a cavity occurs to a baby tooth, there isn’t really a need to have it filled. Unfortunately, this is wrong. A baby tooth should be filled, even if it’s about to fall out. If the cavity is not corrected in a timely manner, you put your child at risk of experiencing an extremely painful dental abscess or damage may occur to their surrounding teeth. A dental abscess and damage to surrounding teeth can be costly to correct and put your child through unnecessary stress and discomfort.
WORK TO IDENTIFY WAYS TO PREVENT CAVITIES
After your child experiences their first cavity, it is a good idea to work on identifying ways that you can prevent future cavities. There are several things you can do to help prevent future cavities from happening to your child. Some of these are:
• Encourage your child to brush at least two times a day and floss daily. Supervise them to make sure they are doing it correctly
• Encourage your child to eat a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables
• Make sure your child is properly hydrated by having them drink plenty of water
• Avoid extremely sugary foods, it is okay to eat sugary foods in moderation, but remind your child to brush their teeth at least 20 minutes after eating sugary foods
• Limit the amount of acid or sugary drinks your child consumes
• Limit the amount of candy or food that sits in their mouth – foods such as suckers, hard candies, and sugary gum can increase their risk of developing a cavity
• Consider having their permanent teeth treated with a protective sealant
• Schedule routine dental checkups
• Get their teeth professionally cleaned every six months
• Make sure your child is getting the right amounts of fluoride, fluoride will not only strengthen their teeth but will also reverse minor damage caused by tooth decay
If you believe your child may have a cavity, the pediatric dentists at Alameda Pediatric Dentistry can help. We will not only assess your child’s case and provide treatment recommendations, but we will help you learn ways you can prevent cavities from happening in the future.
Call our office at (510) 521-KIDS if you think your child might have a cavity, or if it has been more than six months since their last dental checkup.