How to Know if a Child's Teeth are Developing Tooth Decay?

How to Know if a Child's Teeth are Developing Tooth Decay?

April 1, 2023

Children are especially susceptible to dental decay because their teeth are still developing. As a result, they may only notice early signs of decay once it’s too late. If you suspect your child has dental decay, visiting a children’s dentist near you is crucial.

How Early Can Children Get Tooth Decay?

Children can get tooth decay as soon as the first tooth comes out. There are many risk factors for tooth decay in children. Some of these include sugar, poor oral hygiene, frequent snacking, and bottle feeding can also increase the risk.

What Causes Tooth Decay In A Child?

Tooth decay is caused due to various factors:

  • Sugar. When sugar combines with the bacteria in plaque, it forms acids that attack and break down tooth enamel. This can lead to cavities.
  • Poor oral hygiene. Plaque, a sticky film of food debris, can harden into tartar (calculus). Poor oral hygiene leads to an accumulation of plaque and tartar, which can cause cavities.
  • Frequent snacking. Eating allows plaque to form on teeth more quickly than if you eat meals only three times a day. When you snack, choose healthy foods like vegetables and fruits or plain yogurt instead of sugary snacks like candy or cookies.

What are the Early Signs of Dental Decay in Children?

There are several signs that you may notice, and they include the following:

  • Tooth discoloration

If you notice that your child has discoloration, this could be a sign of decay. It’s important to watch for these changes because it may mean gum disease is going on inside their mouth. The same goes for poor oral hygiene—if a child doesn’t brush their teeth regularly, they’re more likely to get plaque buildup, leading to tooth discoloration and cavities.

Sometimes tooth decay will cause an abscess (large swelling) in the mouth, which makes it painful when touched.

  • Tooth Sensitivity

This can be caused by an overgrowth of bacteria on your teeth, leading to pain or infection. If you have dental decay, it may feel like your gums are burning when you brush them with a toothbrush (especially the inside surfaces).

  • Bad breath

Bad breath (halitosis) is an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth. This is caused by the accumulation of plaques on the teeth. Furthermore, the bacteria in the mouth break down the food particles producing sulfur compounds. It can be caused by dental decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

  • Holes or patches on the teeth

The teeth may develop tiny holes in the enamel. The color of your child’s tooth can also help you tell if there’s decay present.

What are the Treatment Options for Tooth Decay in Children?

The most common option is to have the child’s teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist. This involves the removal of any plaque as well as any decay that may be present. If the decay is severe, the dentist may also recommend that the child have a filling placed in their tooth. If the tooth is too damaged, the dentist may need to perform a root canal or even extract the tooth.

Another option for treating tooth decay is to use fluoride treatments. This can be done at home with fluoride toothpaste or in-office with professional fluoride treatments. Fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth and prevent further decay from occurring. The dentist may also recommend dental sealants that act as a barrier that prevents the teeth from developing cavities.

If you are concerned about your child’s dental health and think they may have tooth decay, it is important to visit a dentist’s office in Elk Grove immediately. By catching the problem early and getting proper treatment, you can help ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy for years.

Schedule an Appointment

If your child has poor oral hygiene, they may be at risk of developing tooth decay. The first step in protecting your child’s teeth is to see a dentist to check them regularly. Visit Laguna Dental & Orthodontics for more information about how to care for your kid’s oral health.

Call Now Book Now