Tooth decay in children is quite common as all kids have bacteria in their mouths. When foods that contain starches and sugars (carbohydrates) are not rinsed from the teeth, the bacteria in the mouth convert them into acids. These acids cause the enamel to rot over time and result in the formation of holes in the teeth called cavities. Caring for kids teeth and oral hygiene is instrumental in preventing cavities.
What causes cavities and tooth decay in children?
It is essential to identify the reasons for tooth decay. Your child may be at high risk of tooth decay if their diet is rich in carbohydrates and the water they consume has a limited amount of fluoride. High levels of bacteria in the mouth and a lower-than-normal saliva flow can also cause cavities. However, poor oral care and hygiene are the most common cause of tooth decay in children.
Signs and symptoms to look out for
White spots on the teeth are something to keep an eye on. The spots not only cause sensitivity but also mark the beginning of the breakdown of the enamel. While tooth decay in children may vary from child to child, the appearance of a light brown cavity on the tooth is a tell-tale sign of tooth decay. The cavity grows deeper over time and, if left untreated, turns black and erodes the tooth.
Ensuring proper kids oral care is crucial to identifying the signs and symptoms of tooth decay. If you missed the early signs, you could still tell if your little one needs to see a children’s dentist. The common symptoms include constant toothache, tooth sensitivity, spots, and bad breath.
If your child is losing sleep due to continuous tooth pain with no apparent cause, they may have cavities. Even if the pain is not constant, but your child experiences the occasional shooting pain in the mouth, it may be time to take them to a children’s dentist.
If your child experiences pain or feels tenderness when consuming something sweet, hot, or cold, seek oral care immediately.
A children’s dentist must be consulted if black, brown, or grey spots appear on your child’s teeth.
If your child’s breath smells frequently, there may be an underlying problem, and a visit to the dentist is highly recommended.
Tips on preventing cavities and tooth decay in children
Tooth decay in children can be prevented with proper kids oral care and hygiene. Here are five helpful tips to help prevent cavities and tooth decay in your child:
Make sure your child understands how important kids oral care is. They must routinely brush their teeth at least twice daily and floss once a day from a young age to prevent tooth decay.
Visit a children’s dentist at least twice a year. The first visit must occur as soon as they get their first tooth and must continue on a bi-annual basis for life.
Avoid too much starchy food and sweets. Even the consumption of sugary beverages such as juice drinks and sodas must be limited.
Increase the intake of fruits and vegetables with high water content as they increase saliva production and prevent cavity-causing bacteria.
The simplest yet most effective way of caring for kids teeth is ensuring they consume enough water every day. Water flushes the bacteria from their mouth, thereby helping in the prevention of acid build-up and cavities.
Since tooth decay in children is a common occurrence, there is no need to worry when you detect signs or symptoms of a cavity. Consult with a children’s dentist immediately and follow the necessary precautions to prevent cavities and tooth decay in the future. Call Woodlawn Kids Dental today for cavity prevention and treatments for your little one.