A cavity is a small hole that forms in your tooth as a result of tooth decay. Cavities can form in several different places on a tooth. However, the most common places are on the biting surfaces and between the teeth.
Cavities in kids are caused by two main reasons. One is the lack of proper hygiene. When children don’t brush and floss their teeth regularly, plaque and tartar can build up, leading to cavities. The other reason is eating too many sugary foods. When kids eat too much candy, they increase the amount of plaque that builds up on their teeth.
When teeth are frequently exposed to sugary, sticky foods, plaque -- a biofilm that builds up on the teeth -- forms. If plaque is not removed with regular brushing and flossing, it builds up and solidifies into a substance called tartar. This hard substance cannot be removed with a toothbrush, so the only way to get rid of it is to have a dentist remove it with special dental tools. Once tartar builds up on the teeth, it can only be removed by a pediatric dentist.
The more often they eat, and the longer they let the food linger in your mouth, the more opportunity they give bacteria to damage your teeth. Plus, the acids produced by bacteria erode tooth enamel, making their teeth more sensitive to decay.
If our dentist finds a cavity, there are several options. The dentist can perform a filling, which is generally done using tooth-colored composite resin.
Another option is to do a pulpotomy or pulpectomy. This treatment involves removing the diseased portion of the pulp. The dentist will then place medication inside the tooth to help it heal. The tooth will then need to be covered with a crown to protect it.
The best way to prevent cavities is by brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. However, flossing is especially important because plaque is a sticky substance that can be difficult to remove. While flossing, be sure to clean between their teeth and along the gum line.
To learn more about Little Bytes Pediatric Dentistry, Palo Alto, or to schedule an appointment to meet our dentists and team, call us at (650) 322-9837.