What is pediatric tooth decay? Usually, when we think of tooth decay, we think of adults or even teenagers experiencing cavities due to problems with their diet, such as a high intake of sugar and carbs. Tooth decay in infants and children is an often-undiscussed topic that pervades dentists everywhere because every child, no matter their age, is at risk for tooth decay. Childhood cavities have to be treated because if left untreated, then there can be disastrous consequences. But for parents trying to detect pediatric tooth decay, it can be hard to notice at first glance. To help parents, we’re here to provide our insights on pediatric tooth decay, what the early warning signs are, and what you should do when you notice it affecting your child’s oral health.
Signs of Pediatric Tooth Decay in Babies and Toddlers
Pediatric tooth decay is a problem many children face today, as about half of children in the US alone experience at least one decayed tooth during their childhood years. As one of the most prominent and reoccurring dental problems people face, parents need to look for the early signs of pediatric tooth decay so that their children’s teeth can be treated. When it comes to babies and children with tooth decay, there are small but vital signs to look for during the first few months to years of childhood development, including:
- White Spots Lesions: White spot lesions are discolored shades of enamel along the front or edges of the tooth. For babies, it’s a significant sign to look out for because of how it occurs. White spot lesions can quickly occur from the baby’s pacifier or sippy bottle, primarily due to their mother’s milk, formula, or fruit juices. These lesions are signs of enamel erosion and are one of the first markers for pediatric tooth decay.
- Temperature Sensitivity: If your child starts complaining about how hot or cold their food or drink is, take note. Oftentimes, signs of tooth decay in children get unnoticed during this stage, but if they’re consistently complaining about how hot or cold it is, it may be a sign of a tooth infection.
- Tooth Discoloration: Tooth discoloration is the most apparent sign of pediatric tooth decay, especially if the discoloration is brown or black in color. It’s the most visual sign of a cavity, so seeing your dentist for treatment right away is the best way to tackle their cavity.
- Bad Breath: Bad breath that won’t go away, even with brushing and flossing, is a tell-tale sign of a cavity. If their bad breath isn’t resolved with changes in diet, brushing, and flossing, and you notice other signs of tooth problems, visiting your dentist is the best way to treat the issue effectively.
Make Sure To Schedule An Appointment Soon!
If you notice any signs of tooth decay in your child’s mouth, visiting their dentist and scheduling an appointment is the best measure to treat and prevent future cavities. Always make sure to reinforce good hygiene habits and protect their teeth for life.