Parenting a child is all about balancing their various needs while making sure that, mentally and emotionally, they are developing healthy responses to life’s most routine processes, like doing homework or going to bed at a reasonable hour. This becomes even more important in relation to going to pediatric dentistry.
Dentist and doctor’s offices, in general, can be unsettling, even scary, places for a child, for more reasons than one: the strange instruments arrayed around the office; the air of formality their parents have when the doctor arrives; the fact that the child often goes there when something is wrong (if normal check-ups aren’t a part of their routine).
Elevating the quality of your kids’ tooth care is largely a matter of teaching them that the dentist is a friend, their normal daily hygiene tasks will prevent a lot of unnecessary discomfort in the future, and (most importantly) if they get a cavity, they aren’t a “lost cause.”
Finding a Cavity
The best way to improve the overall dental care of our Utah children is to make going to the dentist a routine — a completely ordinary occurrence. That way, if cavities are discovered, we can tend to them early. Detecting a cavity is a matter of simply identifying a few telltale signs:
- Enamel Damage: Cavities (also known as caries) are holes or small pits in the hard outer layer of the tooth. This damage to the enamel is usually easy to detect, while advanced cases give the tooth a honeycomb effect.
- Root Damage: Some cavities appear lower down on the tooth and burrow straight into the root. A dental x-ray will help find hard-to-see cavities, as well as show the extent of the damage to the root.
- Discoloration: Cavities are caused by bacteria that feed on the sugars coating the tooth’s enamel. Teeth in need of cleaning will go from yellow, to brown, to black, as the cavities become more advanced.
- Tooth Sensitivity: By exposing the inner layers of the tooth, a cavity can make the mouth much more sensitive to sensations of cold, heat, and brushing.
- Tooth Pain: Pain is the ultimate sign that something is wrong and your child will certainly let you and the dentist know about it.
If a cavity is discovered, there are myriad ways our team at Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry will treat it. Providing tooth care is only one of our objectives, however. The other is reinforcing the notion that coming to the dentist was a good thing and that they shouldn’t fear coming back. Regardless of the state of your child’s teeth, we will be happy to see them when they walk in the door.