How Should You Know If a Cavity Has Already Started in a Child’s Teeth?

How Should You Know If a Cavity Has Already Started in a Child’s Teeth?

Mar 02, 2023

Cavities are a global problem and are responsible for most oral health issues. Our little ones are the ones who are most affected by cavities since they have not yet mastered proper brushing techniques. Plus, they love all the teeth-unfriendly foods and snacks. But we cannot exempt teenagers and older adults who tend to have cavities.

In any case, you need to be on the lookout for tooth decay in your kid’s tooth, especially between six years to about 12 years, since these are the cavity-prone years. That’s why we advise our patients to bring their kids for a checkup to ensure that cavities don’t destroy those pearly whites.

But as a parent, you may have to wear a dentist’s hat every other day and perform dental exams to gauge the state of your kid’s oral health. So, we have decided to equip you with some critical information that will help you know if your kid’s tooth has decayed.

First Things First, What Causes Cavities?

Cavities or dental caries (tooth decay) are weak points on the otherwise strong enamel. Cavities will always sneak into your kid’s tooth. They are usually painless and destroy the teeth over months and even years. Since the enamel is strong, it will remain intact so long as there’s proper care.

Dental caries comes about when a sticky film coats the teeth and traps the sugars and foods your child has eaten. If you don’t ensure that your kid has removed the plaque by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, then the acids released by bacteria will break down the enamel forming holes (cavities).

The cavities will continue to grow bigger if there is no intervention. In other words, if you don’t seek child dentistry, where our dentist can treat the cavities with fillings, then the cavity will cause more damage.

Some of the habits that lead to cavities might include:

  • Brushing habits. If your kid doesn’t brush often, the sugars in the mouth are given more time to turn into acid. These acids will attack your teeth for about 20 minutes after each meal, no matter the size.
  • Bottle use. Toddlers tend to sleep with their bottles. This habit could be detrimental to their oral health since decay can begin its destructive work on the middle two front teeth
  • Dietary choices. You know that kids love sugary snacks, foods, and drinks. Eating or taking these foods and drinks can lead to weakened enamel.
  • Genetics. Some children might be genetically indisposed to having weaker enamels than others due to factors such as low saliva production or even tooth shape

How Will You Know the Symptoms and Early Signs of Tooth Decay in Toddlers?

You may not see any cavity symptoms, especially in the early stages. That’s why you need to maintain regular dental visits at our Bradford dental office since our dentist can spot and treat cavities before they get out of hand.

In any case, let’s check out the early signs of tooth decay.

Early Signs

Your child might not show any signs of a tooth cavity, the signs might be minute, or your kid might not be able to properly communicate what they are feeling. So, make it a habit when you are brushing your kid’s teeth, and examine them. If you examine them daily, you can spot the changes and ask our dentist what they might mean.

Peel your eyes for the following:

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold beverages and foods
  • Light brown discoloration, which indicates a cavity is forming
  • White spots on the teeth (this is the earliest sign of decay)
  • Pain around the affected tooth or toothache

As the cavity progresses, you might notice that the color will change from light brown to dark brown or black. You might notice that your kid will complain of physical pain or may show less than obvious signs such as:

  • Fussiness. Toddlers may not yet be able to tell you what they feel. So, they might be very cranky or tend to cry a lot. Your toddler may tug at their ear when they are in pain
  • Trouble eating. Tooth pain will make snacks and meals unpleasant for your kid. You might notice that your kid may simply choose to stop indulging in some foods because of discomfort.
  • The trouble with vitamin deficiencies and weight gain. If your toddler isn’t gaining weight or is not getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals, then there is a chance that teeth have cavities

Cavities might affect your kid’s oral health. So, it is best that you contact us at Holland River Dental to schedule an appointment.

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