Tooth Decay and Dental Fillings

dental fillings RockwallCorrecting tooth decay with dental fillings is never fun at any age, and this is why preventive action is so important. Your pediatric dentist should begin seeing your child around the age of twelve months so you can learn how to care for your child’s teeth as they grow.

What is tooth decay and how can it be prevented? 

Tooth decay is permanent damage to the hard surface of your tooth that can affect both the outer protective layer of the tooth (enamel) and the interior layer of the tooth.

When you eat foods that contain sugars and starches, the bacteria that naturally reside in the mouth digest these foods turning them into acids. The bacteria, acid, saliva, and unremoved food debris combine forming plaque that eventually hardens into tartar. Once tartar forms, the only way to get rid of it is with a professional cleaning from your dental provider. Plaque and tartar allowed to stay on teeth can eat away at protective enamel resulting in tooth decay.

Dental cavities are preventable, but it takes work. Steps for prevention include:

Brush with a fluoridated toothpaste twice a day. Children should not be using a fluoridated toothpaste until they have mastered rinsing and spitting.

Floss teeth daily to remove what your toothbrush missed.

If your dentist recommends using a fluoridated or anti-bacterial rinse, follow this advice.

Eat nutritious foods limiting sugary or high carbohydrate snacks. Drink water … not soda or sugary beverages.

Your child may benefit from having sealants placed on molar teeth. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces of treated teeth. Additional supplemental fluoride treatments may be beneficial as well.

See the pediatric dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam.

Repairing Dental Decay

If a cavity does occur, the best treatment available to repair the tooth is with a tooth colored composite resin. It is made from a blend of non toxic materials making this restoration completely safe.

Repairs with composite resin require much less of the tooth structure to be removed; the composite is placed in layers providing a long lasting and durable repair, and can be used to treat both front and back teeth.

One of the main reasons patients select composite dental fillings to repair decay is that it provides a natural looking, virtually invisible correction if a cavity should occur.

For more information or to schedule your child’s next visit, contact The Smiley Tooth Pediatric Dental Specialists today.