Bolingbrook family dentist Dr. Suzy Azalea shares a stress-free guide on how parents can deal with their child’s first cavity.
While many parents hope their children will grow to adulthood without a single cavity in sight, undergoing fillings at a young age is unfortunately common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of children ages 5 to 9 have at least one cavity filling. With proper support from both the parents and the family dentist, a child’s first cavity filling experience can be comfortable as well as educational. Dr. Suzy Azalea, Bolingbrook family dentist, shares tips on how parents can help their children through their first cavities.
Symptoms of Cavities in Children
Usually, older children are quick to notify their parents of any dental pain; however, toddlers may have trouble communicating to parents about their specific ailments. Additionally, cavities don’t always cause pain, causing them to go undiagnosed until the child’s biannual
visit. Some symptoms of tooth decay in children include:
• Chewing only on one side of the mouth
• Chalky white spots on the teeth or other discoloration
• For toddlers, excessive crying for no apparent reason could signal painful tooth decay
• Complains that brushing and/or flossing is painful
• Swollen cheek accompanied by a fever
If your child has any of the symptoms above, call your dentist immediately to schedule a dental exam. In the meantime, you can give them an icepack to hold against their cheek to soothe any pain or swelling.
How to Prepare Your Child for the Filling Procedure
If your dentist has diagnosed your child with his or her first cavity, use non-intimidating dental language, such as telling your children they have a “sick tooth” rather than a cavity. Answer your child’s questions, but do not talk excessively about the procedure. You should avoid making a “big deal” of the procedure or displaying any dental fears.
Cavity Prevention Tips
Your child’s first cavity filling is a wake-up call for any negative dental hygiene habits they may have picked up. Cavity prevention education for children goes a long way in ensuring they have healthy, strong teeth for a lifetime. Here are some tips to help prevent further cavities in little ones:
• Limit sugary drinks such as soda or fruit juice
• Clean your child’s teeth with a damp cloth or a toothbrush as soon as they erupt
• Bring children in for biannual dental visits before the age of one
• Do not leave a bottle with your infant or toddler overnight
• Practice proper brushing and flossing habits in front of your child
• Monitor your children’s brushing and flossing
Going to the dentist for your child’s first cavity filling doesn’t have to be a nightmare. As long as you adequately prepare your child (and yourself!) for the procedure, the appointment should be hassle free and quick. To prevent more cavities further down the line, it may be time to sit down with your dentist and discuss any changes you could make to your child’s diet or dental hygiene routine.
To learn more about family dental procedures in Bolingbrook, visit http://www.lcdentalimplants.com or call Dr. Suzy Azalea at (630) 739-9430. You can also follow Dr. Azalea’s Twitter at http://twitter.com/LilyCDental and Like Dr. Azalea’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/lilycachedental. Dr. Azalea is dedicated to providing affordable, quality dental solutions to restore her patients’ confidence in their smiles.
About Dr. Suzy Azalea, D.M.D.
Dr. Suzy Azalea graduated from the Southern Illinois School of Dentistry in 1998. After graduating from dental school, she became a founding member of the American Oral Systemic Health Association. Dr. Azalea began practicing dentistry in Nashville, TN and then moved back to Illinois to open Lily Cache Dental.