Cavities have been one of the most chronic diseases in many children in the US with 20% of children having at least one decayed tooth with no proper treatment. It is even more prevalent in children from low-income families. A cavity is developed when a tooth starts to decay; it starts from a small hole in your teeth and gets bigger over time especially when untreated.
Children are more prone to developing tooth decay because they have not developed and followed a good oral routine. While we all have bacteria in our mouth, children with diets high in sugar and carbohydrates, poor oral hygiene, and less saliva flow in the mouth are more susceptible to getting cavities.
Signs of Tooth Cavity in Children
Most of the time, we wouldn’t be able to know if our children are already developing a tooth cavity unless they are having a toothache or the dentist finds it. More often, the tooth is no longer salvageable and needs to be extracted. Below are the signs that parents should watch out for in the teeth of their children.
- White spots are starting to show up in the affected teeth. The white spots are signs that the enamel is already affected. Once the enamel breaks down, the child will then experience tooth sensitivity whenever he or she eats or drinks cold and hot foods.
- The appearance of light brown color in the tooth. The color is an early sign of cavities and must be dealt with in order to save the tooth. Over time, if the onset of the cavity is not treated right away, the color will turn darker and black. A hole might appear in it.
Ways to Prevent Cavities in Children
The best way to treat a cavity is to prevent it from forming. Below are the 3 effective ways to prevent cavities in children.
- Develop proper oral hygiene
One of the complaints of many parents when it comes to brushing teeth is that their children aren’t too fond of it. It’s either their children feel uncomfortable with brushing their teeth or they are just too lazy to do it. It is important for children to learn to love the practice. Let them have fun while brushing their teeth. You can always prepare a nursery rhyme playing in the background while brushing their teeth. Buying a flavored toothpaste intended for them will also help.
- Cut back your children’s sugar intake
The soda that your kids so love to consume daily contains acid and sugar that the bacteria in the mouth thrives in. Whenever your children finish their milk or soft drinks, make sure to let them rinse their mouth with water. Using a straw when drinking soft drinks will also help in keeping the sugar-filled liquids away from the teeth. As always, limiting the amount of soda, juices, and other sugary drinks is always suggested.
- Regular dental checkup
It is important to bring your child to a pediatric dentist regularly. The dentist will be able to assess the condition of the teeth of your child and know the right treatment for it. You can start bringing your child to a pediatric dentist the moment he or she turns one to be able to identify possible dental problems earlier.