Your child’s baby teeth assist with chewing, talking, and smiling in addition to maintaining jaw space for the permanent teeth growing underneath. Maintaining healthy baby teeth prevents cavities that can result in premature tooth loss and misaligned or crowded permanent teeth. Keep up with your little one’s oral health by working with your family dentist and understanding the warning signs of tooth decay.
3 Signs of Cavities in Small Children
1. Spots On Teeth
White, chalky-looking spots on your child’s teeth near the gumline typically appear first when tooth decay is present. They represent early mineral loss and the need to see your family dentist immediately. Without timely care, tooth decay continues to erode enamel, creating brown or black spots. These spots are actually holes, or cavities.
Examine your child’s teeth regularly for spots in addition to brushing her teeth, gums, and tongue twice a day with a soft-bristled, small toothbrush. Start flossing after she is two years old.
2. Swollen, Bleeding Gums
Daily teeth cleaning and flossing combined with a healthy diet prevents excess bacteria, or plaque, from accumulating in the mouth and resulting in swollen, bleeding gums. If your child has inflamed, bleeding gums, there is too much bacteria present and the risk for tooth decay is high. Look for white or dark spots if you notice this gum issue, as well as bad breath. Inflamed gums combined with bad breath are clear signs of serious bacteria buildup.
Stay diligent about your child’s oral health to prevent these issues while also maintaining a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet free of sugary snacks. If you are giving your child a bottle, use water instead of juice to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, or when juice sugars coat gums and baby teeth to promote cavities.
3. Tooth Sensitivity & Pain
While some people simply have more sensitive teeth than others, sensitivity to hot and cold foods or pain while chewing can also signal cavities. If your child has sensitivity to certain foods or always seems to experience chewing discomfort and has any other cavity symptoms, visit your family dentist as soon as possible. The dental professional will fill any cavities and provide preventative recommendations, such as using fluoride toothpaste and getting your child’s teeth professionally sealed. Dental sealants provide effective enamel barriers to lower the risk of tooth decay.
Emphasize dental health to your child from an early age with diligent home care and seeing the family dentist at Richmond Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry every six months. Known for quick and reliable service, this practice has served southeastern Georgia since 2008 and treats any patient over three years old. Call (912) 756-3880 today to make an appointment for your child or learn more about kids dentistry services online.