As a parent, the oral health of your child is very important. Helping them to prevent certain teeth conditions is the key to living a healthy and happy life. One common teeth issue amongst children today is a cavity. Cavities are holes in the tooth caused by tooth decay. When bacteria that cause cavities in the mouth turn simple sugars that your children consume into harmful acids, tooth decay is bound to occur. These cavity-causing bacteria form acids that work to break down tooth enamel.
If tooth decay is not treated on time, it can result in cavities, which can affect the tooth enamel and dentin. Children stand a higher chance of developing cavities because of the kind of things they eat. As a result, it is important that you monitor their oral health and make regular visits to a toddler dentist.
How to recognize if my child has a cavity? Your child might be experiencing some tooth pain and you are wondering what the signs of cavities are. Tooth pain does not always equate to cavities. Cavities have many different symptoms, and they can sometimes be more delicate than pain in the jaw. Because of this, knowing the symptoms of a cavity in children is very important.
The health of your child’s teeth is very important to their overall well-being. Recent studies have shown that poor dental health can result in issues such as diabetes and heart disease. For this reason, it is imperative that you prevent tooth decay as your child grows up.
Symptoms of Cavity in Children
Pit or Hole in the Teeth
Sometimes, when teeth are not cleaned well enough, they can form white spots. Those white spots could mean the formation of a cavity. If you do not give the white spot the appropriate attention it needs, it will worsen into a pit or hole in the tooth. Sometimes, the formation of these holes or pits takes place between the teeth or in crevices where you cannot feel or see them.
Nevertheless, not seeing or feeling it does not mean you will not feel the pain or sensitivity around the area that is affected. Once you notice any pit or hole in the tooth of your child, you should book an appointment with a dentist immediately. The holes or pits will not heal on their own; they need the attention of the best dentist.
Increased Sensitivity to Cold and Hot Foods and Drinks
If you notice increased sensitive reactions in your child whenever they eat cold or hot foods or drinks, chances are they have a cavity. When these cavity-causing bacteria break down the enamel of the teeth, they will become more sensitive. When the enamel protecting the dentin is no longer enough, cold and hot substances stimulate the nerves in the tooth.
The enamel serves as a shield, and extreme temperature changes can bypass the dentin and get to the nerves and cells when the shield is no longer there. When this happens, the child will become more sensitive and feel more pain in the mouth. If this is the case for your child, you should consult a kid’s dentist as soon as possible.
Stains on the Teeth
You might notice some stains on the teeth of your child, and they may first show up as white spots. If you leave the white spot to persist, the decay will progress and the white spot will turn dark. The formation of cavities on the teeth causes different colors of staining, ranging from white to black. It usually begins on the surface of the teeth and progresses gradually into the teeth.
Once the decay has gotten deep into the tooth, the child will start feeling pain around the affected area. The pain is a result of the tooth suffering nerve damage because of the decay. If you have any challenge cleaning stained teeth, you should consult a dentist before the situation gets worse.
This is one of the most common and well-known symptoms of a cavity. Pain is the number one complaint behind cavities. If your kid is complaining of a toothache, you should not allow it to continue for a few days before consulting a dentist. Toothaches usually set in without any warning and it can happen after eating or drinking something. Sometimes, the child might also feel some level of discomfort and pain in the jaw area.
Tips for Preventing Cavities in Your Child’s Teeth
Regular Brushing and Flossing
You should encourage your child to brush regularly (morning and night before going to bed). Brushing regularly helps to get rid of plaques, which can serve as the breeding place for bacteria and sugar. Flossing also helps, as it gets in between the teeth to remove food particles that are stuck there. If your child is not up to the age of brushing by him/herself, you can help them with this process to make sure they brush properly and keep the teeth and mouth as clean as possible.
Start Cleaning Early
You should start cleaning the teeth of your child at a very tender age. Even before the baby grows their first tooth, you should start oral cleaning. At the eruption of the first tooth, you should step up your cleaning approaches. You can consult a dentist to know the best cleaning approaches to use.
For children below the age of two, you should use non-fluoride toothpaste to clean their mouth. However, for kids over the age of two, fluoride toothpaste is highly necessary. Fluoride helps to restore minerals that were lost because of acid-producing bacteria. It can also help to reduce the activity acid that is created.
Regular Visits to the Dentist
One of the best ways to prevent cavities in the teeth of your child is to visit the dentist regularly. A dentist can spot potential issues because they escalate into more troubling issues. This serves as a great preventive measure that will benefit both you and your child.
Cavities are common among children because of their diet. As parents, knowing the signs of this condition is very important, as it will help you to overcome it quickly and more effectively. Once you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should book an appointment with a dentist.