From time to time we see young kids with numerous cavities at Newberg Family Dental, where Dr. Jennifer McLeod and her staff specialize in the treatment and prevention of childhood tooth decay. Unfortunately, the numbers regarding cavities and tooth decay in children continue to be alarming. According to Dr. Burton L. Edelstein DDS MPH of Children’s Dental Health Project, 80% of cavities occur in 25% of children. At Newberg Family Dental, we want to see that 25% effected by tooth decay so that we can help provide good dental care for kids of all ages.
Reasons for Cavities in Young Children
Good preventative dental care is essential to healthy dental development no matter what age you are. There are a few key elements that lead to cavities in young children:
- Poor nutrition – the presence of too much sugar in daily diet and not enough lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
- Absence of fluoride – the lack of fluoride given to children as they grow and develop
- No dental visits – the absence of regular dental visits to ensure healthy teeth during childhood development
The lack of good overall health care and dental prevention practices lead to consequences with long-term effects, including disturbances in sleeping, eating, behavior, speech, and learning. At Newberg Family Dental, we provide the care required to help children avoid these consequences.
Treating Cavities With Silver Nitrate
With a two or three year old you can imagine how difficult it is to treat and fill teeth effected by decay. Many times, parents are advised that we need to place them in the hospital to be able to fill the teeth. Dr. Jennifer McLeod and fellow dentists would love to have an easier way to solve this problem when it comes to treating tooth decay in young children.
At Newberg Family Dental, Dr. McLeod and her team are now using silver nitrate, a simple chemical that has long been used in the medical field. This valuable substance can be used to treat cavities present in teeth. The technique is simple: We use a small brush to paint on the silver nitrate, then immediately seal the area with a fluoride varnish.
Once applies, the silver nitrate disinfects and hardens the cavity, which stops the decay process. If the cavity is large, we can cover the cavity with a simple paste filling that will seal the area. This treatment is fast and easy, and all present cavities can be treated in a matter of minutes. Here’s the best part: no shots and no tears – you’ve got to love it!
We will see more development of this type of treatment in the future, all with the goal of providing the best for our kids. Dr. McLeod and her team at Newberg Family Dental are committed to treating tooth decay in young children.