1. Do Baby Teeth Cavities Need to be Treated?
Yes. Eating lots of sugary foods, falling asleep with a baby bottle in their mouth, and poor oral care are the main causes of childhood cavities. Cavities, also known as caries, are tiny openings in the tooth’s enamel and can cause pain or discomfort. Damage to the enamel stems from bacteria-filled plaque and tartar that build up on your child’s teeth from sugars and food particles.
Although tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the US, many parents don’t take cavities in baby teeth seriously. They know their child will lose those teeth, anyway, and will be replaced with permanent (adult) teeth. However, treating decay in baby teeth prevents oral pain, helps them chew better, and overall promotes the growth of healthy adult teeth.
Cavity treatment involves removing the decayed part of the tooth and covering the opening with a tooth-colored filling. Your dentist may also apply a dental sealant to baby molars (back teeth) at risk of decay. Early treatment stops decay, protects nearby teeth from rotting, reduces the need for a root canal, and prevents tooth loss. Besides, losing baby teeth too early can cause the other teeth to shift towards each other to close the gap. Consequently, the permanent teeth may not have enough room to erupt, leading to orthodontic issues like overcrowding.
2. Why Do I Need Routine Dental Care?
The American Dental Association recommends having a dental checkup at least every 6 months. Your family dentist Toledo Ohio may recommend more frequent visits depending on your oral care needs. These visits are necessary for maintaining good oral health. An oral exam and teeth cleanings are routinely done at each visit. You may require deep cleaning for gum disease (periodontitis) or fillings or root canal therapy for tooth decay.
The risk of developing gingivitis, gum diseases, bad breath, oral infection, or cavities increases if you skip your dental appointments. Your dentist can spot these issues early and provide treatment to prevent tooth loss. Gum disease treatment reduces the chance of bacteria getting into your body and causing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
At your 6-month checkup, you’ll also get screened for signs of oral cancer. Heavy tobacco and alcohol use increases the risk of mouth cancer. Regular screenings allow for the detection of cancer signs such as sores, lumps, lesions, and white patches. Some of these signs are difficult to see with your naked eye. Routine oral cancer screenings help with early diagnosis and improve your chance of successful treatment.
Restore Your Smile
3. How Long Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Last?
Dental fillings are made of materials such as composite resin, amalgam, silver, or ceramic. Tooth-colored fillings are made from a composite resin and closely match the natural color of your teeth. It’s the main reason why many patients now prefer it over metal fillings, such as gold or silver, for cosmetic reasons. The material is also suitable for treating front or back teeth and is barely noticeable because of its natural-looking appearance.
Your dentist will use a dental adhesive to bond the filling to the teeth to complete a cavity treatment or a root canal. In some cases, composite resin is used to repair a chipped tooth or minimize spaces between the teeth. Tooth-colored fillings are safe for children and adults and usually need replacing about 5 to 10 years after they are placed. Daily oral care helps extend the life of the treatment beyond 10 years. The longevity is owed to its ability to withstand stress and pressure from everyday chewing without breaking.
Beautify Your Smile
4. Should I Get Composite Bonding or Porcelain Veneers?
The answer largely depends on what suits your oral needs. The main differences between the two cosmetic procedures include the material used and the cost. Composite bonding, or dental bonding, is done to hide minor imperfections, mostly on your front teeth. The procedure involves applying a material called tooth-colored composite resin to the surface of your teeth. Your dentist will polish and contour your teeth to achieve a more aesthetically-pleasing smile.
Veneers are wafer-thin, tooth-colored shells customized from a material called porcelain. The shells are bonded to your teeth to disguise minor flaws. Porcelain veneers are a preferred option for individuals who have cracked, chipped, uneven, or discolored teeth. Compared to composite bonding, porcelain veneers provide a more symmetrical, natural-looking, shinier smile. Another unique benefit of veneers is their durability, which enables them to last for over a decade with good oral care. At your consultation, our dentist in Toledo, OH, can provide more information to help you decide.