It’s no secret that cavities are prevalent, but did you know tooth decay is one of the most common diseases in children? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s second only to the common cold! Furthermore, roughly 20% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated cavity. If left unchecked, the root of the problem can worsen, requiring a pulpectomy or pulpotomy. To learn more about root canals for kids, read on!
5 Common Signs of a Bad Pulp
If your child’s tooth had a chip, even on a molar, you could see it with the naked eye. Some damage, however, isn’t as noticeable. When the pulp gets infected, one or more of the following symptoms will arise:
- Persistent tooth pain
- Oral discomfort that occurs throughout the night
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
- Abnormal loosening of teeth
- Swollen, tender gums around the tooth or teeth
Pulpectomy & Pulpotomy: The Similarities and Differences
Although the terms may sound similar, there is a distinct difference between a pulpectomy and pulpotomy. A pulpotomy is where the pulp in the crown (the visible portion of the tooth) is removed, but the pulp in the root canal remains untouched. A pulpectomy, on the other hand, is when the inner pulp is treated with specialty tools, removing the infected tissue. In both cases, a numbing agent will be used to ensure your child is as comfortable as possible during their time in the treatment chair. At the end, the tooth will be filled and, if necessary, a dental crown will be used to protect the remaining tooth’s structure.
How To: Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
While root canals are straightforward, safe, and effective, the goal is always to keep your child’s teeth healthy, strong, and beautiful from the start. With this in mind, here are a few best practices they should be following:
- Brushing their teeth at least twice a day (ideally after each meal)
- Flossing daily between every two teeth that touch
- Rinsing with mouthwash once they are old enough
- Limiting their sugar consumption
- Avoiding unhealthy habits, like chewing on ice
- Visiting their dentist twice a year for a dental checkup and cleaning
Despite their best efforts, it’s possible for your child to develop one (or a few) cavities. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean the look and function of their smile has to suffer! With a pulpectomy or pulpotomy, the damaged tooth can be seamlessly restored in no time.
About the Practice
At Castle Rock Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, our team goes above and beyond to preserve your child’s healthy, happy smiles. Sometimes, however, decay happens. Fortunately, Dr. Layne Benzley and Dr. Betty have the skill, experience, and precision needed to restore even the most damaged teeth. So, if your child is struggling with a toothache, they are the dental professionals to trust! To learn more about root canals for kids or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or call 303-660-5373.