Tooth decay is one of the most common reasons to bring a child to see a dentist. Improper oral care, diet, and even genetic factors can contribute to how likely a child is to develop cavities.
Unfortunately, many parents don’t know what they should be looking for until it’s a bit too late, and the cavity is already causing a nasty toothache. This only contributes to the classic “fear of the dentist” as the child may begin to associate any trip to the office with pain and discomfort.
Let’s all work together to keep that from happening! Below, discover the top 5 most common signs that your child may be dealing with tooth decay:
1. White or Brown Spots on the Tooth
If your child smiles and you notice a strange spot on their tooth that doesn’t go away after brushing, you could be looking at the first stage of tooth decay.
At this point, the bacteria feeding on food particles are releasing acids, which are slowly breaking down the tooth’s enamel. They first appear as white or dark spots, and get darker over time, until they create a tiny hole.
2. Sensitivity to Hot or Cold
Tooth decay can increase sensitivity. Your child may complain of sharp pain when they are eating ice cream or some hot soup for lunch.
This pain usually appears when the tooth is exposed to heat or cold, and goes away quickly, though in some cases it can linger.
3. Dark Spot or a Hole
Bacteria continue to break down the tooth enamel, trying to get inside the tooth. In the beginning, the white spots turn darker, and eventually, the bacteria form a pit inside the tooth.
This is a definite sign of tooth decay and requires treatment right away. Cavities will continuously grow and potentially lead to an infection.
4. Bad Breath
Tooth decay may also lead to bad breath. If your child’s breath smells unpleasant, and this is not because of something they ate, it may be caused by tooth decay.
You can brush the child’s teeth to make sure it’s not caused by something else. Bad breath caused by decay doesn’t go away, no matter how much you brush.
Lastly, one of the most common signs of tooth decay is consistent pain. Depending on how large the cavity is, your child might experience anything from mild to moderate pain.
This symptom is often constant and may be controlled by pain medication to a point.
Bring the Little One to Miles of Little Smiles
If your little one is showing signs of tooth decay, Dr. Mila Belgrade can help restore their oral health with professional and compassionate dental services.
Book an appointment at Miles of Little Smiles today, or call us at (914) 949-6655 to find out more about our services and how we can help.