Can a Root Canal Save My Child’s Tooth?

Your child may have had an accident while riding his or her bike or practicing the balance beam during gymnastics class. Perhaps candy bars are your child’s weakness, and now she has a cavity because of them. If your child is experiencing discomfort in his or her tooth, a root canal indeed could save your child’s tooth.

A children’s root canal, also known as pulp therapy, is recommended when a child has experienced tooth decay or a traumatic injury that affects the nerve of the tooth. In this situation, your child may need a root canal in order to maintain the life of the tooth so that it is not lost early. This is critical because when the back teeth are lost prematurely, this can lead to future issues with the eruption of your child’s permanent teeth. In addition, a baby tooth that is not treated can cause problems with chewing and proper speech. 

A children’s root canal, also known as pulp therapy, is recommended when a child has experienced tooth decay or a traumatic injury that affects the nerve of the tooth.

During a children’s root canal procedure, the child’s pediatric dentist essentially removes the infected pulp from the tooth—the area that contains living tissue and blood vessels. Then, the dentist applies a substance to the area to soothe the nerve and to stop bacteria from growing. Finally, a crown—or a tooth-like cap—is placed on the tooth.

This procedure is called a pulpotomy if the roots of the tooth—the parts of the tooth embedded in the jawbone—are not affected; only the crown of the tooth, or the part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth, is affected. However, sometimes, trauma or decay may be so severe that the roots are affected, too. In this case, the entire pulp may have to be removed and the root canals have to be cleaned out—a process known as a puplectomy.

Signs that your child may need a children’s root canal include:

  • A tooth is mobile or loose for no apparent reason.
  • A tooth is sensitive to heat or cold.
  • The area around a tooth is red or swollen.
  • Your child is experiencing seemingly random pain.

Get in touch with us today to find out whether your child may be experiencing the type of discomfort that warrants a children’s root canal. Solving this problem early on will help your child to feel comfortable as soon as possible as well as maintain a healthy smile as the years go by.

Does “Thumb Sucking” Negatively Affect the Outcome of Your Child’s Teeth?

For any baby, sucking is a natural instinct. From sucking bottles to sucking fingers, a baby can find comfort in this behavior, and so can a toddler. However, when your baby has “grown up”—or has reached preschool age—this is when “thumb sucking” can be a real problem. Not only can it draw negative attention in a social situation but also it might negatively affect the outcome of your child’s teeth.

When a child sucks his or her thumb, this affects the teeth’s alignment because putting constant pressure on the roof of the mouth can cause the teeth to protrude forward. Your children’s dentist can tell you that this may cause further problems down the road. When a child’s baby teeth are misaligned, the permanent teeth have a greater chance of growing in improperly.

In addition, misaligned baby teeth can actually impact your child’s speech patterns. When the teeth aren’t positioned correctly, your child may have trouble pronouncing particular sounds that can only be made when the tongue and teeth are in the right position.

In order to help a child to combat thumb sucking, you can encourage him or her to stop the habit and offer a reward each day the child successfully does so. In addition, offer soothing alternatives to thumb sucking, such as petting the dog or playing with a favorite stuffed animal. Being proactive in suggesting other ideas offered by your children’s dentist will ultimately help your child to maintain healthy teeth and have the smile that he or she deserves.

Contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at 817-569-6633 today to find out more about how you can curb your child’s thumb-sucking habit. Thumb sucking indeed does negatively impact the outcome of your child’s teeth, but by encouraging your child to stop sucking his or her thumb through positive reinforcement, you can have a positive impact on your child’s smile for years to come.