Childhood Dental Heroes: What Parents Should Know About Fillings and Crowns for Kids

Dental fillings and crowns for a cavity.

Kids have minds of their own.

Taking care of kids can certainly be difficult. You’re trying to get them to eat a vegetable here or there, keep their clothes on, and stay in that booster seat on the highway. They definitely have minds of their own! With the constant struggles that come with parenthood, finding out your little one has a cavity can be disheartening. But we want you to know that you’re far from alone. We’re the dental superheroes, ready to save the day!

But aren’t they just baby teeth?

If baby teeth are temporary and will inevitably be replaced in a few years, why bother with saving the tooth? This can be a very common thought process, but it doesn’t change the fact that baby (primary) teeth are just as important as adult teeth. Think of them as the foundation to set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth.

If a cavity begins, it doesn’t stop at one tooth. As time passes, the decay will go deeper and spread farther, affecting neighboring teeth and even the jaw. If the tooth is lost, the neighboring teeth will shift positions to help fill in the gap. Problems like this can affect speech, their jaw shape, and even your child’s ability to properly digest food.

That filling or a crown will certainly help them in the long run!

The Need for Superhero Solutions

According to the CDC, more than 50% of children between the ages of six and 10 have at least one cavity in their baby teeth. When cavities in children are that prevalent, it’s little surprise that a superhero is needed to keep those teeth healthy.

Cavities are formed when the natural bacteria on our teeth come in contact with sugar and starches in our food. They combine, creating an acid that goes straight to work on our teeth. If these cavities aren’t taken care of and filled, the enamel will be severely compromised and a cavity will form. If cavities are ignored, they’ll cause pain, potential tooth loss, and even potentially spread to the neighboring teeth.

Kid-Friendly Materials

When it comes to dental fillings, they can be made to match the color of the tooth, leaving no one the wiser!

If the cavities are severe enough, a crown might be needed to save the remainder of the tooth. For the visible teeth, these can be made to match, so no one will have any clue that your child has a crown. For those molars, stainless steel crowns are frequently used, as they are both more affordable and highly durable.

Power of Cavity Prevention

Ideally, prevention is the goal when it comes to taking care of your child’s natural smile. Though sometimes life happens, and cavities sneak in. The care of your child’s mouth after treatment is much the same as before. Make sure they keep up with brushing those teeth twice a day for the full two minutes, flossing at least once per day. Try adding some fluoride mouthwash into their routine as well, that way they can wash away anything else that might be hiding in the hard-to-reach places.

In addition to daily care, be sure to take your child to their regular dental checkups. Their dentist will be able to monitor their dental health and watch for any potential problems before they begin.

Building Trust

Dental anxiety is a common issue, and it typically begins in childhood. If you are nervous about your child’s upcoming dental visit, they are more likely to pick up on it. Try to keep a light tone when talking about the dentist, read plenty of stories, and make sure your child knows exactly what to expect when they go in. Remember that forming trust with the dentist will make it much easier for your children to care for their smiles once they become adults.

Empowering Sidekicks

So we can do our job as the dental superheroes, we need you, our trusted sidekicks, to teach your little heroes how it’s done. Never underestimate your power as a parent when it comes to supporting your child. You are part of the team! You are that sidekick, holding their hand every step of the way. Remember that your children are watching everything you do and how you interact with their dentist. Teach them to ask any questions they might have, and voice any worries that might come to mind. We have likely heard every question in the book, but we can’t answer what isn’t asked!

Cavities are an incredibly common problem, even in those baby teeth. Frequently, these are treated with fillings. The more severe ones are topped with a crown to keep the natural tooth safe. It’s important to teach your child not only to care for their teeth but to communicate with their dental team. Though we like to think of ourselves as dental superheroes, we need the help of the sidekicks (the parents) to teach children to prioritize their dental health.

Pediatric Dental Specialists of Omaha looks forward to seeing you soon!

Whether it’s time for your child’s dental cleaning, or you think there might be a cavity trying to form, reach out and schedule an appointment. We look forward to taking care of your little one’s smile!