Treating Cavities Early in Pediatric Patients

Ultimately, our goal is to prevent dental diseases in our young patients.

However, we know that cavities happen. That's why we want to see your child every six months - that time frame allows us to catch problems early.

What Happens During Your Child’s Initial Consultation?

When you and your child come in for their very first appointment, we’ll take time to not only get to know you and your child and check their teeth but to provide you with some invaluable information.

We’ll talk about how your child’s diet and snacking habits can impact their oral health, and our team can provide dietary recommendations that can help prevent dental decay, such as limiting sugary snacks and highly processed carbohydrates.

Our team will also guide you and your child through oral hygiene instructions. We’ll help your child learn proper brushing and flossing techniques. Then, when they’re taking care of their teeth at home, you can make sure they’re sticking to the best dental hygiene home care practices.

If we find that your child has a cavity, we’ll create a treatment plan to remove the decay and fill the tooth.

Pediatric Dentisty Sudbury MA
Pediatric Dentisty Sudbury MA

Why Do Kids Get Cavities?

There are 3 main causes for cavities in children:

  • Genetics
  • Dental hygiene
  • Diet

All these factors will impact whether a child gets cavities and how rampantly they’ll get them.

Genetic factors can include the type and number of bacteria in your child’s mouth. However, this alone doesn’t mean your child is doomed to a mouthful of cavities. Just because you or your spouse or other relatives had a lot of cavities doesn’t mean your child is going to have them.

Good dental hygiene – in the form of daily home care and regular professional dental cleanings – can do much to prevent cavities from developing.

Similarly, a healthy, whole foods diet with limited sugary foods and highly processed carbohydrates can prevent cavities as well.

What Happens When a Cavity Develops

The bacteria in our mouths love sugar and highly processed carbohydrates. They feed off it. During this process, the bacteria release an acid that attacks the enamel, weakening it, and eventually causing decay.

Bacteria live in the plaque, so as it builds upon the teeth (building up even faster the more sugar and highly processed carbohydrates we eat), the bacteria and their acid byproducts continually attack the enamel. Removing the plaque that builds upon the teeth each day can help reduce the risk of decay.

Specialized Pediatric Training Sudbury MA
Pediatric Dentisty Sudbury MA

What Happens at a Cavity Filling Appointment?

If your child does have dental decay, our team will discuss with you the options available, based on your child's age and extent of decay. Our goal is to stop the disease process and create good patient relations for a lifetime of oral health. When we diagnose a cavity, we want to treat it as early as possible because:

  • It will be more comfortable for your child (we might even be able to perform the procedure without local anesthesia)
  • The smaller the cavity, the less tooth structure is damaged

To start, we numb the tooth if necessary. Then, we use a handpiece to gently remove the decay. After that, we condition the tooth and prepare it for a filling. We use a composite resin material (tooth-colored) to fill the tooth. It starts off soft, allowing us to fill the tooth without any voids and shape it to fit your child’s tooth’s anatomy. Then, we light cure the filling to harden it. Afterward, we check your child’s bite to make sure the filling isn’t too high. Finally, we polish the filling, so it’s as shiny as the rest of the teeth. You won’t even notice it’s there!

Meet Dr. Seibel

Dr. Kristi Seibel earned her DMD degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. After working some years as a general dentist, Dr. Seibel returned to Tufts to specialize in her first love, pediatric dentistry. Her training included treating children, young adults, and special needs patients at New England Medical Center, the Cotting School, and Brookline Dept. of Health Dental Clinic.

Dr. Leo Spyrou

Meet Dr. Thaker

Dr. Thaker is passionate about providing the highest quality of dental care to children in the most comfortable atmosphere possible. Dr. Thaker has continued her education by taking several courses throughout the years to stay informed about the newest and most proven research and developments in the field of pediatric dentistry.

Dr. Shailaja Thaker

The Importance of Catching Cavities Early

When we diagnose and treat cavities in the early stages, it benefits your child because the procedure is more comfortable for them, and not as much tooth structure is damaged. That results in less tooth sensitivity and a filling procedure that is completed quickly. In turn, your child won’t think of a filling appointment as a scary ordeal. The more things we can do to reduce their anxiety, the better!

Are you concerned your child might have a cavity?

Contact us at (978) 443-5431 to schedule an appointment.

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