Early Tooth Decay in Kids

November 3, 2022

Did you know that one in four kids has tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten? This is a startling statistic, and it's something that we need to work together to change. Early tooth decay can lead to long-term problems with teeth, so it's crucial to get your child's teeth checked out and start practicing good oral hygiene habits as soon as possible. We'll be discussing what causes early tooth decay in kids and early signs of tooth decay in kids.

At Baker Pediatric Dentistry, we believe that preventative care is the best way to avoid serious dental problems down the road. We recommend that parents bring their kids for regular dental checkups. During these early visits, we'll spot any signs of tooth decay and help you develop a plan to avoid it. With proper care, your child's teeth will stay healthy and strong for years to come.

What Causes Early Tooth Decay in Kids?

There are a few different things that can contribute to early tooth decay in kids. One of the most common causes is poor oral hygiene. When you eat food, bacteria in your mouth turn sugars into acids. These acids can eat away at your tooth enamel, causing cavities. If you don't brush and floss regularly, the plaque and tartar on your teeth will provide a perfect breeding ground for these bacteria. Over time, this can lead to serious tooth decay.

That's why brushing teeth is so vital for kids. It helps remove plaque and bacteria from their teeth, which reduces their risk of developing cavities. Once kids reach a certain age, they should brush their own teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes. However, you should still be supervising them to make sure they're doing a good job. Flossing is also important, as it helps remove plaque from between the teeth.

Poor dental hygiene isn't the only thing that can cause early tooth decay in kids. Another common cause is eating sugary things. Children who eat lots of sweets, cakes, ice creams, etc, are at a higher risk of developing cavities. This is because the sugar in these foods provides a food source for the bacteria in your mouth, which then produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. It's important to limit sugary snacks and drinks, and brush teeth after eating them.

Early Signs of Tooth Decay in Kids

There are a few early signs of tooth decay in kids that parents should be aware of. These are:

  • Sensitivity to cold drinks and food: When a tooth is decaying, the enamel starts to break down. This makes the tooth more sensitive to cold and hot drinks and food. If your child complains of sensitivity when they consume something cold or hot, it could be a sign they have a cavity.
  • Visible pits or holes in the teeth: As cavities form, they create small pits or holes in the teeth. If you notice any of these, take your child to the dentist as soon as possible.
  • Toothache: If your child is complaining of a toothache, it's another sign they may have a cavity.
  • Bad breath: If your kid's breath smells bad, it could be a sign of tooth decay. This is because the bacteria that cause cavities can also cause bad breath.
  • Dark spots present on tooth: When tooth decay first starts, you may notice small dark spots on the tooth. This is because the enamel has started to break down and the dentin underneath is starting to show through. If you see any of these spots, bring your child to the dentist right away.

As a parent, you should never ignore these early signs of tooth decay. When it's treated sooner, it's much easier to fix. If you wait too long, the decay can spread and cause more serious problems. Toothaches in particular can be painful for kids, so it's important to get them seen by a dentist. A qualified pediatric dentist can evaluate your kid's dental health to determine the cause of the problem and provide the appropriate solution. That way, your child can enjoy good dental health for years to come.

Hopefully, you've understood what causes early tooth decay in kids. At Baker Pediatric Dentistry in Idaho Falls, we're here to help your child enjoy excellent dental health. If you're concerned about early tooth decay, or you've noticed any of the signs listed above, bring your child to our dental clinic. As we mentioned earlier, we believe in the power of preventative dental care. We'll work to help your child maintain good oral hygiene habits so they can avoid tooth decay and other dental problems in the future. Contact us today at (208) 524-5050 to schedule an appointment!

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