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When Are Fillings Needed?
A lot of people have had to get a cavity filled. With the abundance of sugar in our diets, cavities are all too normal for kids. We hear too often that a child is cavity-prone. But this is a common misconception – people are not cavity prone. Instead, cavities are caused by germs that are passed from adult to child. Babies are born without the bacteria that causes “caries,” the disease that leads to cavities. They get it from spit that is passed from their caregiver’s mouth to their own. Caregivers pass on these germs by sharing saliva.
For example, when you share spoons, test foods before feeding it to your baby, or place your baby’s pacifier in your mouth, that’s how the bacteria are passed. These germs can start the process that causes cavities even before babies have teeth. But it is one of the few “diseases” that is 100% preventable. So, it’s important to avoid sharing saliva with your baby right from the start – especially if you have had cavities in the past. This is just one of the many fun facts discussed at your child’s first visit.
A recent study that appeared in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that children who have their first dental visit before age two are less likely to require restorative and emergency visits. So, for those more frugal parents, the one-year dental visit can actually save you money. In fact, another study demonstrated that children that visited the dentist before age one had 40% lower dental costs during their first five years than children who did not. Also, visiting a Pediatric Dentist by the time that first baby tooth pops up enables the child to begin a lifelong preventive dental care program to minimize tooth decay and cavities. You could be saving your child’s smile just by bringing them in before age one!
But, when your kiddo does have a cavity – no big deal – we use fillings to fix the tooth.
What Are Fillings?
A filling is just like what it sounds like – a hard A filling is a hard material we put into the tooth to replace the damaged portion. It won’t repair all the damage to a tooth that has a bad cavity but, it helps hold the tooth together, to protect the soft inside (called the pulp) of the tooth. That way your child can have a bunch more chews on that tooth without it becoming too messed up. After we put a filling in, usually, your kid won’t even notice the difference after the first day or two. It should feel as good as new!
At The Kids Dental Office of Phoenix & Orthodontics, we use every tool in our toolbelt to find and address cavities before they become bigger problems. But don’t worry, we don’t fill every nook and cranny. Instead, most of the time, we watch and monitor because good dental hygiene can stop the cavity in its tracks.
Fillings have been around a long time. The Ancient Egyptians used to fill cavities with barley, honey and yellow ochre, while over 2,000 years ago Chinese dentists used silver amalgam for broken teeth. Technology has come a long way. Now, The Kids Dental Office of Phoenix & Orthodontics uses materials like composite resin and porcelain, which are tougher and last longer. We can also try to match the same color as your kiddo’s tooth! So, their smile looks more natural and it’s hard to tell they had work done.
Wherever you live, if you think your kid has a cavity (or two), feel free to book an appointment on this website! You can also call our number (602) 903-4894 and we will schedule your child for our first available appointment.