Children, especially young children, are very susceptible to cavities. The most common chronic illness among children is tooth decay. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research’s latest data, 28% of American children ages 2 and 5 have decay in their primary (“baby”) teeth. 51% of children ages 6 and 11 have cavities. A total of 21% of children aged between 6 and 11 years have had permanent tooth decay.
It’s not an isolated event for many children to get a cavity. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has the most recent data. It shows that American children aged between 2 and 5 have an on-average 2.58 child tooth surfaces that have been filled or are in decay, and that children between 6 and 11 have 4.30 baby tooth surface that is filled or decayed. A further 0.68 decayed and filled permanent tooth surface is found in children between 6-11 years.
It is even more surprising that so many of these cavities remain untreated. According to the CDC, about 1 out 5 children between the ages 5 and 11 have at least one untreated tooth.
It’s possible to wonder if filling cavities in baby teeth is necessary since baby teeth will eventually go out. The answer is a resounding yes.
Cavities can be caused by bacterial infections. If left untreated, the infection may spread to the nerves in the tooth and other areas of your child’s body. Neglecting to treat cavities in a baby tooth can result in serious long- and short-term health problems.
A pediatric dentist may be required to treat very deep cavities.
We offer white fillings or tooth-colored ones at The Pediatric Dental Studio. These filings are very similar in color and texture to the natural teeth of your child. They will blend in with your child’s teeth, helping them smile, speak and eat confidently.
We can discuss with your child whether a form of pediatric dental Sedation or treating the cavity with Silver Diamine Fluoride may be an option.
You can help your child avoid cavities by brushing his/her teeth twice every day starting at the first tooth, flossing daily as soon your child has two fully grown teeth, and regular visits to pediatric dentistry beginning on your child’s first birthday. The risk of cavities can be reduced by professional preventative treatments, such as Fluoride varnish, and Dental Sealants.