Should a 5 Year Old Get Fillings?

Dr. Khuong Nguyen

February 21, 2023

Dr. Khuong Nguyen

A parent’s worst nightmare is to have their child suffer from tooth decay. If left untreated, cavities can lead to painful discomfort, tooth loss, and severe health problems.

Fortunately, dental fillings are an effective way to fix cavities in children. They prevent painful tooth pain and save time in the dentist’s office and money.

Dental fillings, or restorations, are the treatment of choice when decay has progressed beyond the earliest stages. They seal the damaged part of your tooth and prevent further damage from bacteria.

Prevent Tooth Decay

Decay starts when sticky bacterial plaque forms on your teeth, causing acid to wear away at your teeth’ enamel (the hard outer layer). As the acid attacks the enamel, minerals are lost – a process known as ‘demineralization.’

When this happens, a white spot may appear on your teeth where the minerals have been lost. The good news is that the enamel can be remineralized to repair itself, and fluoride can help.

The key to preventing tooth decay is a balanced diet, regular brushing and flossing, and frequent visits to the dentist. These preventative strategies can also help you avoid costly and painful procedures like tooth extraction.

Less Pain

The numbing medication your child receives before the procedure can help reduce pain. The numbing will also make it less likely that your child will react to the tooth filling after receiving it.

It is also essential to limit your child’s intake of hard foods and beverages for the time being until they are fully healed from their filling. Hard foods can put extra pressure on the tooth and increase sensitivity.

You can help ease any sensitivity your child may be feeling by providing them with soft and nutritious foods and liquids and using a Benadryl solution on their gums. This can provide temporary relief while they wait for their next appointment and make them feel better until the sensitivity disappears.

Less Time in the Dentist’s Office

If a cavity isn’t filled soon, it can progress into more extensive dental work. This can cause pain and anxiety for your child, and it can also lead to higher costs down the line.

During filling, your dentist will first numb the area with an anesthetic. They will then remove the decay, sterilize the tooth, and fill it with a filling material.

Most fillings are made from amalgam, a mixture of mercury, tin, and silver. This material has been around for over 150 years and is inexpensive for patients and easy for dentists to use.

In addition to providing a less-than-painful experience, fillings can reduce the time spent in the dentist’s office. This can be beneficial for patients who are prone to anxiety or fear of the dentist.

Less Money

The cost of cavity-causing tooth decay can quickly add up. Fortunately, you can save money in the dental department by taking proactive measures to keep your child’s teeth healthy and cavity-free.

The ADA recommends brushing and flossing twice a day and scheduling regular cleanings at least once every six months. These steps are the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

One of the best ways to save on a trip to the dentist is to sign your child up for a dental discount plan. These programs allow you to pay a low annual fee and access a network of dentists who accept most major insurance policies. Some even offer cash discounts or no-interest financing. The best dental plans also feature kid-friendly benefits like free checkups and cleanings, early appointment and late cancellation policies, and discounts on x-rays and fluoride treatments. So, if your five-year-old has cavities, ask about their best options for dental care and budget-friendly payment plans at the dentist’s office.