If your child has been neglecting their dental hygiene and your family dentist has discovered and treated a cavity in one of their teeth, here are some steps you should take.
Identify the reason for their poor dental hygiene and try to address it directly
In this situation, it is important to not only have the cavity treated but to also get to the root cause of your child's decision to neglect their teeth and gums. Doing this will reduce the likelihood of them developing similar dental problems in the coming years.
For example, lots of children get a bit irritable and uncooperative when they are tired. If your child gets like this just before bedtime and their irritability and tiredness often leads them to only make a half-hearted effort to brush their teeth (or to skip this process entirely), then you might want to encourage them to brush their teeth immediately after their final meal or snack of the day rather than waiting until they are about to go to sleep and are in a bad mood. Carrying out this task whilst they are still energised and in good spirits will increase the chances of them doing it properly.
Conversely, if their lack of interest in dental hygiene is sensory-based (for example, if they dislike the flavour of a traditional mint toothpaste, find the bristles of the toothbrush too abrasive or find the sensation of the foam produced by the toothpaste unpleasant), then you should try to address as many of the obstacles that are deterring them as possible.
For example, you might want to switch to a toothpaste with a fruit flavour (like banana or blueberry), buy them a toothbrush with softer bristles and provide them with some type of distraction whilst they are brushing (like letting them watch a cartoon show on your smartphone) in order to take their mind off the unpleasant foaminess of the toothpaste.
Arrange for them to the family dentist more frequently until the condition of their teeth improves
If a child is taking good care of their teeth and gums and has not had to undergo any type of dental treatment other than a routine scale-and-polish, then it is perfectly fine for them to only go for a check-up twice a year.
However, if your child has consistently failed to keep up with a good dental hygiene routine and has developed dental health problems, then you will need to arrange for them to visit their dentist more frequently until this situation improves.
Doing this will ensure that any gum inflammation or tooth decay that results from their poor dental hygiene is found and nipped in the bud before it can put them at risk of things like gum disease and tooth infections.
Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.