In the United States, just over 18% of children ages 5-19 have untreated cavities, which can lead to major oral health problems down the road. If your child has tooth decay, board-certified pediatric dentist Dr. Maryam Sina, DDS, and the rest of the Kids Tooth Drs at Dentistry for Children in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada, can help. The pediatric specialists treat baby bottle rot and other cavities before serious problems arise. Call the office to learn more, or book an appointment using online booking.
Tooth Decay & Cavities Q & A
Tooth decay happens when your child’s tooth enamel begins to erode, or break down, which leads to holes in the teeth (cavities). Tooth decay is caused by:
- Poor brushing and flossing habits
- Consuming too much candy or sugary drinks
- Plaque buildup over time
- Genetic factors
Baby bottle rot, or baby bottle tooth decay, is a form of tooth decay that affects infants and toddlers. This dental condition usually occurs in the upper front teeth, and is caused by:
- Frequent exposure to sugary drinks
- Putting babies to bed with a bottle
- Exposing babies to cavity-causing mouth bacteria from a caregiver’s saliva
- Receiving inadequate fluoride
The good news is tooth decay in babies and young children is often prevented by taking proper precautions and seeing a pediatric dentist regularly.
Children with tooth decay or cavities may experience pain, tooth erosion, holes in the teeth, or discolored teeth, and the treatment depends on the severity of the tooth decay. Dr. Sina may recommend:
- Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) treatment for cavities in early stages
- Cavity fillings or crowns for more advanced stages of tooth decay
- Root canals or tooth extraction for badly damaged teeth
Dr. Sina recommends the least invasive treatment first and discusses with you which tooth decay treatment best matches your child’s needs.
Several at-home strategies help prevent tooth decay or baby bottle rot in children, such as:
- Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss every day
- Wipe a baby’s gums with a clean, damp washcloth
- Avoid adding sugary drinks, such as juice, to baby bottles
- Avoid putting babies to bed with bottles
- See a pediatric dentist regularly
- Avoid sharing saliva (from foods or utensils) with infants, toddlers, and children
- Limit sugary foods and drinks
- Ask Dr. Sina about supplemental fluoride and dental sealants
- Supervise your child’s brushing until age 6 or 7
Use a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children under age 3, and a pea-size amount for kids ages 3-6.
When you’re ready to treat children’s cavities before serious dental problems arise, call the Kids Tooth Drs at Dentistry for Children, or book an appointment online today.