What to do if You Suspect Your Kid has Cavities

Sometimes even with the best oral care, cavities and tooth decay can happen. Cavity fillings for kids in Washington State are a fairly common occurrence among children. According to the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 45% of children have cavities. Fillings can also be used to repair teeth damaged by tooth grinding or injury.

Kid’s Choice Dental offers kids cavity fillings, in addition to routine preventative care and other dental interventions. We offer a wide variety of services in our kid-friendly and comfortable office. Our excellent team of dentists and other dental professionals are very compassionate and will enjoy the chance to work with your family.

Preparing Your Child for Cavity Filling in Washington State

The idea of cavity filling can be intimidating for children. You can prepare your child by discussing with them their fears and assuring them it is safe. Discussing your own experiences with the dentist in a positive and upbeat tone will help as well. Also, avoid scary words like needle, drill, or hurt. Many dentists will discuss the procedure with their young patients, as they have more experience and training in addressing these concerns.

Options to calm your child during the procedure, such as sedation are available as well. Before the procedure, you should have your child brush and floss their teeth to dislodge any food. If using sedation, your dentist may have your child fast beforehand. Additionally, make sure they are wearing comfortable clothing. Also, bring an item to distract or comfort them prior to the procedure.

Cavity Filling Procedure

Cavities are a portion of the tooth with decay. Filling the cavity helps to save the tooth from further damage and helps maintain the tooth’s usefulness. It typically takes an hour per tooth but may take longer, particularly if the dentist takes any breaks to help keep your child comfortable.

The procedure itself usually starts with an x-ray to identify the area of decay. Your dentist may apply a topical numbing agent before injecting a local anesthetic. Using a drill, the dentist will remove any areas of decay. Finally, the filling material is put into place and allowed to harden.

Cavity Filling Aftercare

For the first few hours after the procedure portions of the mouth may remain numb, so eating may not be the best idea. Once the anesthetic has worn off, there may be pain, sensitivity, or swelling. This should go away in a day or two, if for any reason it doesn’t or gets worse, contact your dentist right away. Due to the pain or sensitivity, it is recommended to avoid temperature extremes in food and drink and only allow soft foods until the discomfort is gone. Also, for the first 24 hours your child shouldn’t chew on the same side as the new filling.

Your dentist may provide guidance on pain management, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Additionally, an ice pack may help with the swelling and irritation. Another concern is to make sure your child doesn’t dislodge the new filling by brushing or flossing too vigorously. A soft toothbrush and gently flossing only, taking care not to pull up where the filling is located.

Kid’s Choice Dental

When it comes to cavity fillings for kids in Washington State, the right dentist is important. Kid’s Choice Dental makes every effort to provide a safe and comfortable environment for our patients and their families. We specialize in pediatric dentistry and children with dental anxiety. Contact us today for an appointment.

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