Tooth decay or cavities in children’s teeth are one of the most common oral problems faced by many parents today. Enamel – the protective covering on your child’s teeth is thin and hence the child’s teeth are more vulnerable to damage. Tooth decay breaks down the enamel of teeth and can lead to holes in teeth which are called as cavities. This oral health issue can cause your child discomfort and severe tooth pain. It can affect simple activities such as eating, speaking and even sleeping.
It is important to identify early signs of tooth decay to ensure that the decay doesn’t lead to other severe oral problems. If you are not sure how to identify tooth decay in kids, look for the below mentioned signs:
- Notice the color of your child’s teeth. Dark spots or a brownish band on the surface of teeth indicate tooth decay
- Cavities in teeth are painful. These make even the simple actions such as chewing difficult. If your kid has trouble chewing foods which he or she usually enjoys, look for tooth decay
- Take a good look at your child’s gums. Healthy gums are even and pink in color. Swollen or inflamed gums mean trouble and oral issues such as tooth decay
- Sensitivity in mouth is another indicator of oral health issues such as cavities or tooth decay. Damaged teeth are extremely sensitive to foods and drinks which are too hot or too cold. If your child experiences sharp tooth pain while consuming foods such as soups or ice creams, it could indicate tooth decay
- The discomfort or pain associated with tooth decay can affect your child’s routine activities. If you notice that your child has difficulty concentrating in school and that his or her academic performance is affected, tooth decay might be the culprit.
Treatment for tooth decay includes removing the decayed part and replacing the gap with fillings which are also known as restorations. They are of two types: a) direct and b) indirect. Direct restorations require a single visit to the pediatric dentist and the materials used are silver fillings, glass ionomers, resin ionomers and some composite fillings. Indirect restorations require two or more visits and comprise onlays, inlays, crowns, veneers and bridges. Such restorations are made up of base metal alloys, gold, ceramics or composites. The treatment plan depends on your child’s age, symptoms and general health.
Prevention is always better than cure. You can help keep your child’s teeth free from cavities by ensuring that they incorporate some simple practices in their routine. These include:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing regularly
- Eating a well-balanced diet which includes foods that promote good oral health
- Following regular meal and snack times rather than eating continuously throughout the day
- Preferring water over sweetened juices or soda
- Avoiding sugary, starchy and chewy foods
- Undergoing regular dental cleanings and examinations
We at Michael Long DDS offer exceptional dental care for kids as well as adults. If you have any queries or concerns about your child’s oral health, get in touch with us today.