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Are you kids extra-grouchy at night? Do they have periods of extended crying when there’s nothing wrong?

If your kids try to avoid eating at mealtimes and laying down to bed, they might actually be suffering from tooth pain.

Every year, one in four toddlers will get a cavity, also called dental caries. About half of all school-aged children will get cavities in either their baby teeth or permanent teeth.

If you’re looking for more information about dental health and cavity treatment, this article’s for you. We’ll give you the lowdown on cavities and help you find a local pediatric dentist. 

Symptoms of Cavities

It can be difficult to get young children to brush thoroughly, but it’s vital to get them into the habit. Cavities have a variety of causes, but neglectful tooth brushing is at the top of the list. 

If your young child has black stains on their teeth, they probably have a cavity. They can also get cavities from the foods they eat: juice and sugary foods top the list.

You might think you’re being healthy by giving your kids juice, but young children should have half juice and half water in their cups.

Cavities can also be caused by mouth bacteria, which can be transmitted from person to person.

If your child shares a cup with someone who has a mouth infection, also called gingivitis, they run the risk of inheriting their destructive bacteria.

It’s easy to confuse tooth pain caused by cavities with teething pain, so it’s important to take your toddler to the dentist every six months. If you suspect a cavity, make an appointment right away.

Types of Cavity Treatment

It’s never too late to emphasize good brushing habits, even if your child has developed cavities. In addition to getting tooth decay treatment, your kids will need to change their morning routines.  

If your child has never been to the dentist, try to talk with them about what to expect. They might not be prepared for the tools and sounds of a dental office. 

In general, your dentist will welcome your presence in the exam room. You might want to bring a special blanket or stuffed animal to deal with potential anxiety.

Fillings and Root Canals

When you catch a cavity in its early stages, it’s easy to get tooth cavity treatment. Your dentist will use a drill to remove the unhealthy part of the tooth, then fill in the gap with silver, gold, porcelain, or a composite resin.

If your child’s cavities are in the back part of their mouths, your dentist will probably use a gold or silver filling. Porcelain fillings, on the other hand, are good for cavities in the front of the mouth.

After completing the cavity repair, your dentist might apply a coating of fluoride to your child’s teeth. This helps seal the teeth off and prevents further damage.

In the event that the tooth has been severely damaged, your dentist will either crown the tooth or recommend a root canal. Root canals remove the dead nerve that connects the tooth to the gums. 

A root canal is a surgical procedure that can be done on an outpatient basis. Your child will need to take one or two days off from school, however, to recover. 

Tooth Removal

If your child has severe cavities and extensive rotting of the teeth, your dentist will recommend a tooth extraction. Again, extraction is a surgical procedure that is performed in-office. 

The thing to remember about tooth extraction is that your child won’t be able to eat solid foods for a few days. They may be in considerable pain at first and will need to get a lot of sleep.

Before your child’s tooth removal, you may want to play a game with them. Let them pretend to be the dentist and “remove” a tooth from one of their toys. 

You might also schedule a visit with your dentist for a routine cleaning, just to get your child accustomed to the office environment. 

Why Dental Health Matters

Taking the time to find the right Chicago pediatric dentist is vital. Once you find the right dentist, you can start to build a long-term association. 

You’re looking for a relaxed, welcoming environment that caters to small children. Many dental offices have beautiful murals or ceiling scenes to distract their young patients. 

If you’re on the hunt for a new dentist, talk to your friends and family. They should be able to point you in the right direction. Before you bring your kids to a new dentist, meet with them in person and talk to them about your concerns. 

When you meet with your pediatric dentist, make sure to tell them if your children suck their thumbs. Thumb sucking can cause overbites and severe tooth shifting. 

Proper dental health is important for children of all ages. Brushing and flossing regularly will help protect their baby teeth and permanent teeth. 

They will also save thousands of dollars in tooth repairs as they get older. 

Get Started with a Chicago Pediatric Dentist

You can start bringing your children to the dentist by the time they’re six months old. If they have started teething, just bring them in to meet your dentist. 

It’s a good idea to make your dental appointments a few months ahead. Some offices are extremely busy and can only accommodate patients who make appointments. 

If you’re planning on bringing your children in for cavity treatment, take the time to make your own dental appointment. How long has it been since your teeth were cleaned and checked?

Getting your teeth cleaned is a great way to show your children that you care about dental health. If they’re reluctant to go to the dentist, you might want to see if they can watch you get a dental exam. 

We offer customized pediatric dental care and are looking forward to meeting your family. You can send us an email or give us a call to schedule your first appointment.