Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent diseases experienced by American kids. A big part of the problem is that tooth decay can happen without kids even noticing. This is why dentists have recommended for decades that kids see their dentist at least twice per year. Most dental insurances cover two visits per year for families for this reason. A common mistake is to only go to the dentist when you notice an issue. And although dentists are equipped to handle a variety of emergency dental needs, a regular check up can prevent a vast majority of them.
Tooth decay has various stages. At the earliest stages of tooth decay, the damage is actually reversible without fillings. By improving your brushing and flossing, you can actually reverse tooth decay before a cavity forms, unfortunately, at this stage, you would likely not even notice the tooth decay. Once a cavity forms the issue is treatable but not reversible. At this point, there may be sensitivity in the teeth, but it could still be asymptomatic or not severe enough that it goes unnoticed. A dentist can drill out the decayed area and replace the section of the tooth with a filling. But once the decay has spread past the dentin (or outer tooth) it will come in contact with the pulp. When bacteria infects the tooth pulp it will lead to pain, inflammation, swelling, and eventually tooth loss. Unfortunately, many patients do not seek dental help until they have reached this stage and begin to feel a toothache.
As stated above, two dental visits a year can save you time, money, and in some cases teeth. Seeing your dentist routinely is the best and most effective way to prevent tooth decay or gum disease. In fact, part of the reason we recommend visits every 6 months is that most damage that can be caused in six months is reversible or at least treatable. But if between your dentist appointments you start to notice sensitivity, a toothache that isn’t going away, or other pains in your mouth you may want to schedule a quick visit. The more time that passes after you notice an issue the worse that issue will become.
All Star Dental handles a variety of dental issues for kids and teens in the Chicago area. If you are looking for a great pediatric dentist we would be happy to serve you and your family. Call us today to set up a dental appointment at one of our five offices.