Many don’t realize it, but children can start getting tooth decay from the instant their teeth start poking through the gums. At Pediatric Dentistry of Winter Park, Dr. Allie Miller specializes in pediatric dental fillings in Winter Park, FL. She highlights what children can expect from dental fillings, as well as proper ways to take care of pediatric teeth so that fillings can be avoided.
Types of Dental Fillings
At our office, we offer two different types of filling for pediatric fillings. Usually, white fillings are used. They blend in with the teeth and are made of a composite resin. They’re extremely durable and are actually stronger than natural tooth enamel. These are the recommended option for dental fillings, but aren’t always an option for certain patients.
SDF fillings, or silver diamine fluoride fillings, are for patients that may not be able to deal with the traditional filling process. Usually, we do these for young children and those with certain special needs. It’s a liquid used for minor cavities and to stop the progression of tooth decay to avoid permanent damage. It does darken the tooth, making it something we try to avoid for teeth that are prominent in the front of the smile.
The Dental Filling Process
With any dental problem, Dr. Miller will do an evaluation of the impacted tooth. Sometimes, a cavity may be discovered during a routine checkup. Dr. Miller will come up with a treatment plan, which is often a dental filling. A separate appointment will be made for the filling process. We want to make sure the patient is comfortable, and will fully explain the process to both the child and the parent so they both know what to expect.
The area is numbed with a local anesthetic and thoroughly cleaned. The infection is completely removed from the area, including decay and any damaged tooth structure. Any trace of infection will be eliminated.
With a white filling, the composite material is maneuvered and sculpted into the affected area. It’s smoothed and shaped to mimic a natural surface that blends in with the rest of your teeth, and isn’t noticeable in the smile. A handheld light is used to cure and harden the material.
For an SDF filling, the process is a little different. The infected area isn’t removed, but the SDF liquid is painted over the cavity or decayed area. This prevents the infection from spreading and keeps the tooth stabilized. SDF isn’t a permanent solution, so it’s something Dr. Miller will keep an eye on throughout regular checkups. It’ll either need to be replaced down the road, or a traditional filling can be done if the child is able to handle it in the future.
Keeping Children’s Teeth Healthy
For children of all ages, there are a few tips that can help prevent tooth decay. For starters, drinking water to rinse the mouth after consuming sugary foods or drinks. Make sure a standard oral healthcare routine of both brushing and flossing gets implemented from a young age. We offer a guide on oral hygiene for children to make sure their teeth are getting the care they need.
Dental sealants are another option to look into. They’re typically done on children between ages 6-12, when molars have erupted. Sealants are used mainly on molars, or teeth with multiple cusps, to help protect against tooth decay. The sealant is a thin dental material that’s painted onto the teeth to protect them for about 2-3 years. A special light is used to harden it, giving the teeth an extra layer of protection.
Pediatric Dental Fillings in Winter Park, Florida
At Pediatric Dentistry of Winter Park, we offer dental fillings in a safe environment that’ll help put your child at ease. Call us or schedule an appointment online!