When your child has tooth decay on one or more teeth, our pediatric dental specialists for fillings have the option of placing composite fillings rather than traditional metal ones. Composite fillings closely resemble the color of teeth and are therefore much less noticeable to others. At Bay Area Kids Dentist, we find that most children and parents prefer this alternative. After removing a small amount of decay from the tooth, our dentist fills it with tooth-colored material and uses a high intensity visible light to harden it onto the tooth permanently.
Factors to Consider with Kid’s Fillings
White fillings are more aesthetically pleasing, but they can also cost more and take longer to place than silver fillings. This will make the initial investment higher, but most people find this to be a fair trade-off for the advantages. Many parents have legitimate concerns about the long-term safety of metal fillings since they do contain a small amount of mercury. Although it’s rare, the metal can eventually break loose and cause an infection in the mouth. Additionally, dentists need to remove more of the original tooth structure to place traditional metal fillings.
When Tooth Decay is Extensive
In the event that the majority of your child’s tooth has decay present, our dentists will place a crown over the tooth to preserve it. This is true of both primary and permanent teeth. Unfortunately, a filling is not enough at this point to prevent additional decay and possible loss of the tooth. Dental crowns are a more aggressive option that is appropriate in such cases.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children
Some parents ask the staff at Bay Area Kids Dentist why caring for the primary teeth is so important when they eventually fall out anyway. Modeling excellent oral hygiene habits to your kids early in life and helping them develop a routine themselves are two essential tasks as a parent. This promotes long-term oral health long after the baby teeth are gone. However, losing the primary teeth prematurely can cause numerous problems as your child gets older. One common issue is for other baby teeth to move into the vacant position and make it difficult for the permanent teeth to grow in properly.
Allowing a baby or toddler unlimited access to a bottle and sugary snacks are the two biggest reasons that tooth decay occurs in such young children. We urge all parents to never put their child to bed or down for a nap with a bottle. This results in liquid remaining in the mouth for too long and causing bacteria to grow. It’s also important to limit snacking as well as offer healthy alternatives that are better for your child’s health and teeth.We also realize that tooth decay still happens sometimes in spite of the best efforts of parents to prevent it. That’s why we offer solutions such as tooth-colored fillings to our young patients.