How and Why Do Dentists Fix Cavities for Children?

child feels pain due to teeth sensitivity

Cavity care for kids is similar to cavity care for adults since baby teeth still need to be healthy and preserved.

While kids eventually lose their baby teeth, oral hygiene is always important even from a young age. Their baby teeth need to survive until the adult teeth grow in and guide them out of the gums, which helps to make sure the new teeth grow in the right way. And while we should be teaching our kids about oral hygiene from a young age, kids can still end up with cavities. Cavity care for kids is similar to cavity care for adults since baby teeth still need to be healthy and preserved.


Baby teeth aren’t permanent, but they do need to remain healthy. To preserve your child’s oral health, dentists will often decide to drill out the cavities in baby teeth and fill or crown them. If the primary teeth are lost before they’re ready to come out, your child’s permanent teeth may be affected.

Tooth Decay

Similar to adult teeth, baby teeth fillings are made out of either white composite or metal. The other types of filling and crown materials are rarely ever used for children. Metal fillings are popular because they take less time to put in, and they’re less expensive than white composite fillings. While your child may not necessarily like the look of metal fillings, the cost-effective option is much smarter for a tooth that will eventually fall out. Your dentist will drill the tooth decay from the teeth as necessary, and depending on how much damage the cavity has caused, the tooth will be filled with a filling or crown. As always, make sure your child is continuing to use good oral hygiene when caring for fillings or crowns.

When Extraction Is Necessary

Even though dentists try to preserve baby teeth whenever possible, there are some instances when extracting the tooth early is the best decision. If the tooth decay is so advanced that it is causing gum issues or pain, pulling the tooth is wise. But because adult teeth need the right amount of space to grow in, many dentists fill the gap with a prosthetic to maintain the correct space.

Laughing Gas

When children have cavities filled, it is common for dentists to use nitrous oxide or laughing gas. This is meant to calm the child down and distract them from the pain of the Novacaine shot in the gums and getting a tooth drilled. However, laughing gas doesn’t work for all kids, so your dentist may use another form a sedative, such as one that is orally administered. Make sure to check with your dentist before your child gets their cavity filled to discuss the process beforehand.

Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity

Affinity Dental has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook.

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