It’s inevitable that at some point your child is going to have a cavity. When this happens, it’s important to take them to the pediatric dentist for their first dental fillings. Fillings are an important part of pediatric dentistry, and they can help your child maintain healthy teeth for years to come! In this article, we will explain what dental fillings are, how they are applied, and what needs to be done for aftercare. We’ll also dispel some myths about pediatric dentistry so you can feel confident about bringing your child in for their first fillings!
What Are Dental Fillings?
Dental fillings are used to treat cavities. Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which is the breakdown of the enamel (the hard outer layer of the tooth). Tooth decay can be caused by many things, including poor oral hygiene, eating sugary or acidic foods, and not getting enough fluoride. According to the CDC, cavities are the most common chronic disease in children. They are also one of the most preventable diseases!
Dental fillings are made of different materials, including the following:
- Amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, and other metals)
- Composite Resin (a plastic mixture)
- Glass Ionomer Cement
When talking to your kids about cavities, it might be helpful to explain it using the example of a rotten apple. Just like an apple, when tooth decay starts to set in, it’s important to catch it early and treat it before it gets worse. Otherwise, the cavity will continue to grow and can eventually lead to an infection or tooth loss.
How Are Dental Fillings Applied?
The pediatric dentist will numb the area around the tooth before they begin the filling procedure. This is because fillings can be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s nothing to worry about! The pediatric dentist will then clean out the cavity and apply the filling material. The type of filling material that is used will depend on several factors, including the location of the tooth, the size of the cavity, and your child’s personal preferences.
After the filling material has been applied, the pediatric dentist will use a UV light to harden and seal the filling. Then, they will polish it so that it is smooth and even with the rest of the tooth. Once the filling is complete, your child can go home and resume their normal activities!
Aftercare for Dental Fillings
It’s important to take care of dental fillings so that they last. After the filling is applied, there are behavioral changes that help them remain healthy, clean, and safe! Here are some tips for aftercare:
- Avoid chewing hard foods or crunchy snacks for 24 hours after the filling is applied.
- Brush twice a day and floss once a day.
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Schedule regular checkups with the pediatric dentist.
Most likely, your child will feel some discomfort for the first few days. This is normal! The pediatric dentist can prescribe pain medication if necessary.
At Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing the best possible care for your child. We understand that fillings can be a new and scary experience, but we promise to make it as comfortable and seamless as possible! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help!