Treating Cavities

Does My Child Need a Dental Filling?

Your child may need a dental filling if they have a cavity. There are a few signs that may indicate the presence of a cavity. A sore, achy tooth or a tooth that is sensitive to heat, cold, or the pressure of chewing may have a cavity. You can also look for visual signs of cavities in your child’s mouth. If you see visible pits, holes, or dark brown/black stains on a tooth, it likely has been affected by tooth decay.

The best way to find out if your child has a cavity is with an appointment at a pediatric dentist in Milpitas, so contact Milpitas Children’s Dentistry now to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard right away.

Repairing Baby Teeth

Why Does My Child Need a Filling in a Baby Tooth?

Baby teeth fall out anyway, so you may not think that it’s necessary to get a filling in a baby tooth. But this is not the case. Baby teeth create the paths that your child’s adult teeth follow when they erupt, and some of their baby teeth, like the molars, will remain in place until the age of 12-13. Your child’s baby teeth are essential for proper oral development.

Because of this, it’s just as important to repair baby teeth as it is to repair adult teeth. If you don’t get a filling for a baby tooth, it may decay further and cause severe tooth pain and facial swelling that could require hospitalization.

The Benefits of Fillings

Protect Your Child’s Oral Health

Cure Toothaches

Fillings give your child relief from the discomfort of a decayed tooth.

Proactive Care

Early intervention with a filling prevents the need for more costly, invasive procedures like crowns and pulpotomies.

Kid-Friendly

We specialize in children’s dentistry, and will keep your child safe and comfortable throughout their entire procedure.

Keep Their Smile Bright and Beautiful

Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings

We exclusively use tooth-colored fillings at our practice. These fillings, unlike metal fillings, look and feel natural, and do not discolor your child’s tooth. They are made of a special type of dental resin. In addition to a more natural appearance, this type of filling bonds more tightly with your child’s enamel, and requires the removal of less tooth structure during the preparation process.

Understanding the Basics

What to Expect From the Filling Process

The filling process is minimally-invasive and typically takes only 30-60 minutes. To begin, Dr. Richard will clean and numb your child’s mouth. Then, he will use a dental drill to gently remove decayed or damaged enamel from the tooth. Once this is done, he will clean and disinfect the area.

Next, he will select a dental resin that matches your child’s tooth perfectly, and begin applying it layer-by-layer, replacing the tooth structure that was removed and restoring the shape and function of your child’s tooth. Once this is done, he will check your child’s bite, and trim the filling further to ensure that it fits perfectly. Finally, the filling will be buffed and polished, completing the procedure.

How to Prepare For a Filling

If your child is receiving their first filling or they just don’t like going to the dentist, it can be a nerve-wracking experience for them. Thankfully, there are plenty of tips and tricks we have to offer to put your child in the right state of mind in preparation for their filling appointment.

The most important thing for you to do is to remain calm and avoid speaking negatively about the dentist. Specifically, you should avoid using certain words that elicit fear. Do not talk about pain, needles, or drilling. In fact, the less you say, the better.

At Milpitas Children’s Dental, we can help explain things to your child once they get here in a child-friendly communication style that keeps them feeling in the loop and eases any of their concerns.

What you can do before then is to speak about their appointment positively and read them books about getting fillings or going to the dentist. Reassure your child that they will feel a lot better and their teeth will be healthier once they go to their dental appointment.

You can also perform a dental checkup on their favorite stuffed animal and let them bring this animal with them for moral support. If you are an adult who experiences dental anxiety or hates the dentist, omit these feelings when speaking to your child.

They pick up on your verbal and nonverbal cues and can internalize these feelings if you aren’t careful. Finally, let us know if your child would like to be sedated for their appointment. This is a great option for children with dental anxiety and special needs. It will relax them and make sure they feel very comfortable.

How to Take Care of a Filling

After receiving a filling, your child’s tooth will still be numb from the local anesthetic for several hours. It’s important that they avoid eating any food and drinking any hot beverages until their mouth is no longer numb, for safety reasons.

If your child received sedation, they may also feel drowsy and need to rest depending on the type of sedation. Once the anesthetic has worn off completely, they can eat. However, we advise that they avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods for the first 24 hours and avoid foods and drinks at extreme temperatures.

Avoiding extremely hot and cold foods and drinks for the first day or two will help alleviate tooth sensitivity. After getting a filling, your child won’t feel any pain while the anesthetic is still in effect. However, once it wears off, they may feel minor tenderness or sensitivity from drilling into the tooth.

This will subside more each day but you can give your child age-appropriate over-the-counter pain relief medicine. Make sure they are brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily around all of the teeth, including the filled tooth. Avoid brushing that is too aggressive and only use a soft-bristle toothbrush.

Are Dental Fillings Permanent?

No, dental fillings are not permanent. A composite filling will last for 5 to 7 years, on average. However, you can protect your child’s fillings by making sure they practice good oral hygiene and attend regular dental appointments.

They should also prevent wear and tear and staining by avoiding harmful habits like using their teeth to open things or chewing on their fingernails. Make sure your child only uses their rear molars to chew their food and try to limit the amount of hard and sticky foods they eat.

Reducing your child’s sugar and acidic intake will help prevent cavities from reoccurring. If your child grinds their teeth, they should wear a mouthguard at night to protect their fillings and their natural teeth.

No matter how well your child’s fillings are looked after, they will eventually need to be replaced which is why regular dental checkups are important. Dr. Richard will let you know if your child’s fillings are due to be replaced.