By Annelise Hardin, DDS
May 07, 2020
Category: Dental Health
Tags: Cavity  

Concerned that your child may have a cavity? Here at South Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC, your dentists, Dr. Annelise Hardin and Dr. Shauna Woody, can help diagnose this issue and provide relief—read on to learn more.

What causes cavities?

Bacteria does. It multiplies in the plaque and tartar that collects on and around teeth. When not completely removed by brushing and flossing, the bacteria begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Over time, a hole (i.e. cavity) forms.

If undetected, a cavity invades soft inner pulp and nerves and may lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic health problems in children, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, it is preventable and treatable with help from our Chapel Hill office.

Treating a cavity

Dr. Woody or Dr. Hardin detect decay during an oral exam. She can see it on the surface of the tooth or uncover it with digital X-ray imaging.

Cavities change the color of a child's tooth. Dark brown spots usually indicate decay, and your dentist will gently probe the area to detect changes in surface texture. Interestingly, decay may appear initially as a white spot, indicating the start of a cavity.

To restore the tooth to full health, your dentist may use the innovative Waterlase iPlus laser. This handheld instrument gently removes the decayed enamel without the need for anesthetic.

Small cavities on primary or adult teeth respond well to the Waterlase while larger areas of decay require specialized tools. Either way, composite resin is the material of choice to fill these cavities. It's natural-looking in color and sheen, requires less enamel removal than amalgam, and lasts for years.

Preventing cavities

Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily must begin early. Parents should help their very young children with these oral hygiene habits and supervise youngsters until the age of ten.

In-office preventive care adds a layer of extra protection. Women's Health reports that toothbrush and floss may miss up to 30 percent of harmful plaque, so bring your child to South Village Pediatric Dentistry every six months beginning at age one or when the first baby tooth arrives.

Learn more at South Village Pediatric Dentistry

We want your child to have a healthy, beautiful smile for life. Call Dr. Annelise Hardin or Dr. Shauna Woody in their Chapel Hill, NC, office for more ways to avoid cavities: (919) 967-2773.