Dental cavities are the most commonly treated tooth problem in both adults and children across the globe. However, few people actually understand what cavities are, how they occur and the correct treatment and prevention. It’s important to understand how your tooth is made up, in order to understand how cavities are formed.
Every tooth has a ‘crown’ (the part you see in your mouth) and roots. The crown is coated in natural tooth enamel, which is a hard surface designed to keep bacteria out, however children’s tooth enamel is not as strong as fully formed adult enamel. Because children’s tooth enamel is not as strong, cavities can form in baby teeth much more quickly and easily than adult teeth.
Acid, sugars, bacteria and plaque can weaken children’s enamel very rapidly, making it slightly softer. As it softens, a pit or hole forms, where the enamel has been decayed. These holes of decayed tooth, are cavities. The cavities can get bigger and bigger, affecting more of the tooth, if left untreated.
The most common treatment for cavities are fillings. In the past, fillings have been dark silver and quite unappealing, however today, fillings are almost undetectable. The bacteria, plaque and decay that is in the cavity is drilled out using high speed instruments and water jets.
The tooth will be numbed and this process is not painful whatsoever. Once all the decay has been cleaned out from the tooth, the excavation site is then lined with a bonding solution and filling material is shaped into the cavity. Once cured with a UV light, the filling is rock hard.
While cavities can be treated, it is highly detrimental to your child’s future dental health to have decayed teeth thorough their childhood years. This is why brushing, flossing and regular check ups are crucial for kids.