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What Are Early Signs of Cavities in Children?

How Do I Spot the Early Signs of Cavities for My Child

Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent childhood dental concerns. If not treated, it can progress and extend to the soft pulp in the tooth’s center, requiring extensive treatment. Watching out for the warning signs of tooth decay and cavities will ensure your little one gets treatment as soon as possible.

How Does Tooth Decay Develop?

Tooth decay typically develops when the bacteria in the mouth create a sticky film called plaque on the tooth surfaces. The bacteria feast on sugars in foods and drinks and produce acids that eat away and damage the tooth enamel, creating holes or cavities.

If left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain and infection. It can even affect your little one’s growth. Severe decay in baby teeth can significantly impact your child’s nutrition and speech, as well as their jaw and teeth development.

What Are the Early Warning Signs of Tooth Decay and Cavities?

The following are the most common early signs of tooth decay and cavities:

Tooth Pain: Tooth pain is one of the most classic symptoms of tooth decay. A persistent toothache in children is almost always the result of cavities. If your little one complains of pain, which may sometimes extend to the jaw area, make sure to schedule an appointment with your trusted team at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry.

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Temperatures: If ice cream or hot chocolate has your child wincing with pain, the culprit may be a cavity. Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures results when the tooth’s enamel weakens, exposing the underlying layer known as the dentin.

Sensitivity to Sweet Foods and Drinks: While sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures is a more common warning sign of cavities, sugary foods and drinks can also trigger a reaction. With the enamel compromised and the dentin exposed, sugar overstimulates the nerves, leading to sensitivity and pain.

Tooth Stains: A white spot brighter than the tooth enamel’s color is often a warning sign that a cavity is forming. If not treated, the white spot will darken, turning yellow and then brown or even black. Any discoloration on your child’s tooth enamel warrants a visit to your Glendale pediatric dentist.

Visible Holes or Pits: As the decay progresses, it can lead to visible changes in your child’s tooth. Depending on the location of the tooth and the cavity, you may see holes or pits in your little one’s tooth enamel. These holes and pits sometimes develop between teeth or in locations not easily visible. That’s why keeping up with your child’s routine dental visits is so important. Our experienced pediatric dentists will look out for signs of cavities and will recommend prompt treatments if needed. 

Healthy Habits for Healthy Smiles

The best way to lower the risk of tooth decay is to maintain good dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing. Limit the consumption of sugary foods and drinks, especially before bed. Remember to visit Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry for your little one’s twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings. If we detect tooth decay or any dental concerns, we will recommend prompt treatment to prevent the condition from progressing.

Quality Pediatric Dental Care Near Me in Glendale, AZ

If you see any warning signs of tooth decay or cavities, contact Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry today. Our team will repair the affected tooth with a composite, tooth-colored dental filling to restore your little one’s oral health. We’re all about maintaining healthy, pain-free smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!