Years ago if you had a cavity your dentist would automatically fill it with a silver colored filling. In more recent years white colored fillings have become available. Many people ask us what is the difference between these two fillings and which one is best for their child. Today we will go through all of the details you need to decide what type of filling is best for your kiddos.
Silver Amalgam Fillings
Silver fillings are not actually made entirely of silver. They are a mixture of silver, copper, tin, and mercury. They are called amalgam fillings. The thought of having mercury in your mouth does not make people very comfortable. The FDA has done extensive research on the amalgam fillings and has concluded that they are safe for adults and children over the age of 6.
– Amalgam fillings last between 10 and 15 years.
– They are incredibly strong.
– Amalgam fillings are also cheaper sometimes. Many insurances have a lower rate for patients that choose amalgam fillings.
– This type of filling takes less treatment time when you are at the dentist.
– The first one that most people will mention is that they do not look as good as a tooth-colored option.
– Amalgam requires more of your healthy tooth be removed to make room for the filling.
– When the temperature in your mouth changes amalgam fillings expand and contract. Over time this decreases the integrity of the tooth.
– Amalgam fillings do not work well if the cavity is too small.
White Composite Fillings
Over the years a new type of filling was introduced. A composite filling is tooth-colored. There are no health dangers associated with the white composite fillings.
– A composite filling lasts for 7 to 10 years. This is less than amalgam fillings but is still a large amount of time. If you have excellent oral hygiene sometimes they can last even longer than 10 years.
– Your fillings will blend in with the color of your teeth. Many people are extremely embarrassed about their amalgam fillings. People choose to replace their amalgam fillings with composite fillings just for aesthetic reasons.
– More of your healthy tooth can be saved during treatment than when amalgam fillings are used.
– Your tooth and the composite material bond together and make for a stronger surface.
– They may cost more than amalgam fillings. Some insurances do not cover composite fillings at all.
– Treatment will take a little bit longer to complete.
– Risk of chipping is higher than with amalgam fillings.
We hope that this information has been educational for you. If you still have questions about what type of filling to choose for your children please give Smile Reef a call. We would be happy to talk over the options with you. We know the kind of love and protection parents feel towards their children. We want to ensure that you are completely comfortable with whatever decision you make.
Most parents have heard the warnings about feeding your kids moderate servings of unhealthy food and beverages such as soft drinks, candy, and other high-sugar choices. In an effort to keep your child on a well-balanced and healthy diet, you opt for the marketed healthy foods and drinks thinking you are doing the right thing for your child’s overall health as well as their oral health. Unfortunately, there are some foods that are marketed as health foods and beverages that are actually a detriment to your child’s oral care and we at Smile Reef would like to list a few examples to help you be more aware.
Healthy Food & Drinks that are Bad for Teeth
Sport Drinks and Water Enhanced Drinks: These drinks are often advertised as a healthy way to recover from intense workouts and activities, but in fact they are not good for you or your kids in the slightest. In a 20oz bottle of the vitamin enhanced waters, there is more sugar contained in there than the recommended daily amount for adults. Though they may taste good, pure water should be the top choice to re-hydrate your little ones. Sports drinks are not any better than these water enhanced drinks, most of those drinks even have more sugar than many soft drinks. Not only is water better for your child, but it naturally rinses away a lot of the debris formed on teeth.
Smoothies: With the added mouth-healthy rewards of non-fat Greek yogurt and the nutritional benefits of fruit, smoothies are believed to be an overall healthy choice. However, improperly made smoothies can have excessive amounts of sugar packed in the high dose of calories. When buying or making smoothies, be sure to opt for the low-sugar fruits and limit the high-sugar fruits. Avoid these high-sugar fruits grapes, figs, pomegranates, mangoes, and cherries.
Dried Fruit: In the event you are trying to improve your child’s oral health, dried fruits should be avoided as well. Dried fruits have none of the water that helps fruit a healthy food and they contain increasingly higher levels of sugar than their natural state. For example, dried plums are prunes; 1 cup of prunes has 45 grams of sugar and 400 calories, whereas a plum has only 75 calories and a mere 16 grams of sugar. Choose fresh fruit instead of dried fruit.
Granola: For an added dietary benefit, granola has been advertised to enhance yogurt, or milk and as a healthy alternative to cereal. However, granola typically contains high amounts of sugar and fat which can lead to tooth decay and the high density of calories can leave your child hungry and often result in them overeating. If you insist on granola, be sure to check the nutritional value and opt for the ones high in fiber and low in sugar.
Trail Mix: Trail mix may seem like a healthy snack but many of the trail mix concoctions include unhealthy ingredients as well as increasingly high amounts of sugar and fat to their plate. Avoid the trail mixes that contain chocolate, dried fruit, and especially candy. Choose the mixes that don’t add sweets or are unflavored.
Pediatric Dental Care
With a healthy diet, optimal oral hygiene habits and dental visits every six months, your child can better preserve their teeth and avoid cavities and excessive tooth decay. Call Smile Reef today to make your child’s dental appointment for a checkup to keep their dental health on the right track.