Dental Fillings for Children

By Dr. David Wyse on May 18, 2020

Young boy in dental chair having a filling placed by a dentistTooth decay affects patients of all ages, including children. Even though baby teeth will not last forever, it is important to take care of them so they can hold space for the permanent teeth later on. At Wyse Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Bloomington, IL, we offer a wide range of family dental procedures, including fillings, crowns, and cleanings. We also place dental fillings for children to reduce the risk of further damage and preserve oral health.

Types of Dental Fillings for Children

When it comes to dental fillings for children, we offer the same options we do for adults. There are two primary types: silver amalgam and composite resin. We will explore each of these in more detail below.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

Metal fillings are made from a mixture of tin, copper, silver, zinc, and mercury. These restorations have been used for decades in dentistry and are incredibly durable and cost-effective. The primary drawback to silver amalgam fillings is that they are metallic in color, and therefore noticeable. However, this is not always a concern for children, since they will lose their primary teeth by age 12.

Tooth-colored Composite Fillings

Composite resin is a common dental material made from ground porcelain and dental resins. Most adults choose composite fillings because they blend in seamlessly with the smile. Tooth-colored fillings are also available for our younger patients. During a consultation at our Bloomington practice, we can help you determine which type of dental filling is best for your child.

Your Child’s First Dental Filling: What to Expect

First, the dentist numbs the affected area with local anesthesia. Nitrous oxide can also be administered to alleviate any fears or worries. Next, the damaged part of the tooth is removed, and the remaining structure is cleaned thoroughly. The dentist will use either silver amalgam or composite resin to fill the void left behind by the decay. Once the material has been shaped and molded, any rough edges are removed, and the tooth is polished. Finally, the dentist will check your child’s bite to ensure the teeth fit together properly. A dental filling can typically be placed in under an hour.

How to Prevent Cavities in Children

Even with proper care and maintenance, the occasional cavity may develop. However, there are a few things parents can do to reduce the risk of tooth decay in their children:

  • Brush twice a day. Instilling healthy habits will help your child enjoy a lifetime of oral health benefits. Make sure he or she brushes two to three times every day, for at least two minutes each time. Some parents find that brushing with their children helps encourage good oral hygiene at home.
  • Floss daily. Cleaning between the teeth is just as important as brushing. There are plenty of flossing tools available to help your child remove plaque, tartar, and debris from hard-to-reach areas.
  • Bring your child to the dentist regularly. The American Dental Association recommends routine dental visits, set at intervals by your dentist. We can help determine how often your child should come in for cleanings and exams.
  • Consider preventative treatments. To reduce the risk of cavities, talk to your dentist about topical fluoride treatments and dental sealants.
  • Limit sugary foods and beverages. Oral bacteria feeds on sugars. The more you limit your child’s intake of sweets, the better chance he or she will have for optimal oral health.

Learn More about Family Dentistry at Our Practice

If you suspect that your child may have a cavity, schedule an appointment at our Bloomington practice. Call us at (309) 663-6393 or contact us online anytime.

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