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Tooth Decay In Children

Tooth Decay In Children

We understand how cavities can be a bit scary for both children and parents. The truth is, while cavities and tooth decay are preventable, they are very common in children. According to the CDC, 20% of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.

Your child’s baby teeth are precious, and good oral hygiene helps to stop tooth decay in its tracks. At Milestone Kids Dentistry, we educate kids and their parents about establishing good dental habits. Plus, we prioritize positive communication, replacing scary words like “cavities” with “sugar buggies”. This way, your child can get the care they need, without the scares.

Learn more about the signs of tooth decay in children, how to prevent it, and how Milestone Kids Dentistry makes “sugar buggies” no biggie! 

What Causes Tooth Decay?

After eating or drinking, sugars and starches tend to stick around and break down into plaque. Once this plaque builds up, it wears away at the enamel of the tooth, causing cavities. When cavities are left unchecked, they can cause more serious tooth decay.

Encouraging a healthy diet is good for your kid’s teeth and their physical health at large. A diet that’s too high in sugar and starches can increase the risk of tooth decay. While it’s always nice to enjoy a treat, it should be done in moderation. Limiting the consumption of  food and drinks such as raisins, candy, cereal, bread, milk, or fruit juices can help prevent tooth decay.! We also offer non-judgmental nutritional counseling to help your little one develop healthy habits.

Risk Factors

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth, so plaque buildup and tooth decay can happen to anyone. However, there are a few risk factors for tooth decay in young children:

  • Improper diet
  • Poor hygiene habits
  • Limited fluoride in their water supply
  • Family history of tooth decay

Signs Of Tooth Decay in Children

It’s helpful to know the first stages of tooth decay in children, so you can get them in to see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. 

Some signs of cavities or tooth decay may include:

  • White spots around the affected area
  • A shallow, brown cavity on the tooth
  • A black colored cavity on the tooth 
  • A white, yellow, brown, or black band around the gumline
  • Brownish-black stumpy teeth as a result of advanced tooth decay
Close up of a child's smile.

How To Stop or Prevent Tooth Decay

The mere idea of cavities and tooth decay can wig anybody out. The good news is, there are some simple steps to keep your kid’s teeth in tip-top shape.

  • Start brushing your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as their first tooth appears.
  • In general, it is best to begin flossing as soon as your child’s teeth start to fit closely together. This usually happens between the ages of two and six.
  • Give your child a nourishing, low-sugar diet.
  • Don’t give your child sugary foods or drinks at bedtime.
  • Schedule routine dental cleanings for your child every six months.
  • Ask us  about dental sealants and fluoride treatments.

Tooth Decay Treatment

If your child is exhibiting signs of cavities or tooth decay, there are a few kinds of treatments that can help. In most cases, your child will only need a little filling to fix a cavity. This involves removing the decayed part of the tooth and repairing it with a tooth-colored filling. These fillings blend into the existing tooth, making it look good as new!

We Help Tooth Decay in Children

A healthy smile is one of your child’s most important assets. We want to help your children develop healthy habits from a young age. Our offices are fun, relaxing places for your child to learn healthy habits that last a lifetime. Parents often tell us that visits to our office feel more like hanging out with their friends than going to an appointment. 

No matter what your child’s personal needs are, our pediatric dentists are ready to help them enjoy a healthy, bright smile. Schedule an appointment today!

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