What causes tooth decay?
Your teeth are coated with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque (Pronounced PLACK). The bacteria converts the sugar you eat and drink into acids that attack the strong, outer layer of your teeth, called enamel.
Over time, this can weaken the enamel and causes cavities.
Reasons for Tooth Extraction
According to pediatric dentists, a child’s tooth must be extracted if it is so badly decayed that even a root canal won’t save the tooth. A tooth should also be extracted if it is crowding other teeth or fractured beyond repair. Children getting braces may need to have some teeth extracted to allow teeth to move to their proper positions.
The dentist will have your child bite firmly on gauze until the bleeding stops, and if the bleeding is excessive, the gauze will need to be changed every 20 to 30 minutes until a blood clot forms. The jaw will be slightly painful, and the dentist will usually prescribe a pain killer. In some cases, the dentist may only recommend an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen. If your child’s face is swollen, ice can reduce the swelling.
Serve only soft foods during the first 24 hours following an extraction. Foods like Jello and applesauce are acceptable and will cause minimal if any, discomfort. After your child eats, have him rinse with salt water, but be sure he does not forcefully spit. If there are stitches, these will dissolve on their own within two weeks.
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TIP for Parents
Having your child visit the dentist visit for regular cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants to prevent tooth decay can save you money and reduce the need for further dental treatments.
Dr. Nestor D'Alessandria