Tooth Decay in Children

Tooth Decay in Kids

Baby teeth are more important than you may realize. Milk teeth play an essential role in guiding adult teeth into their correct positions. Poor oral hygiene among other things can cause tooth decay in kids. It is of vital importance to visit a dentist regularly to prevent cavities in children.

What is tooth decay in children?

Tooth decay in children happens when the tooth enamel is broken down or destroyed. Enamel forms the outer surfaces of our teeth. Tooth decay is one of the main causes of a toothache in children.

What causes cavities in a child?

Childhood cavities are caused by plaque that forms over kids’ baby teeth. The bacteria in plaque feed on the sugars from the food and drinks that kids enjoy. During this process, acid is produced which damages kids’ tooth enamel. Some common causes of childhood cavities include:

  • Sleeping with a bottle of milk
  • Drinking sugary drinks
  • Consuming fruit juices
  • Eating foods that are full of sugars

Which children are at risk for tooth decay?

Everyone has bacteria in their mouths. Therefore, every child is at risk for early childhood cavities. The enamel of baby teeth is much softer that of adult teeth. This means that kids tend to develop tooth decay very easily. Some factors could increase the risk of tooth decay in children like:

  • A diet containing high levels of sugars
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Less saliva in the mouth than normal
  • Extreme levels of bacteria that cause cavities

What are the signs of tooth decay in a child?

The early signs of tooth decay in kids are difficult to see during the initial stages. Tooth decay can appear in different ways.

  • The first sign is a white band on the tooth enamel closest to your child’s gum line and it is often undetected.
  • A yellow or brown band may appear on the baby teeth and this shows the progression to decay.
  • Advanced decay caused by childhood cavities can make the teeth look like brownish-black stumps.

How are caries treated in a child?

Child tooth decay treatment options depend on your child’s specific symptoms, health and age. The severity of the condition will also be taken in consideration.

In the early stages, treating cavities in kids can be performed using a fluoride treatment to strengthen your little one’s teeth and to replace lost tooth minerals. This method can help to reverse small cavities.

In more severe cases, dental care may involve the removal of the decayed parts of a tooth and replacing those parts with a filling. Your dentist will choose to use a tooth-coloured composite resin, or an amalgam filling made from mercury or silver. Alternatively, a dental cap can be placed over a decayed tooth.

How to prevent cavities in a child?

Baby teeth matter and luckily, tooth decay in children is highly preventable. You can play an important part in preventing cavities in your child by:

  • Practising good feeding habits
  • Not giving your child fruit juices or sugary drinks
  • Cleaning or brushing your child’s teeth
  • Getting your kid’s oral health checked on a regular basis

Take care of precious smiles!

Good dental health practices can contribute to your little one’s healthy smile while improper dental hygiene habits can lead to tooth decay in kids.

Our kids’ dentists in North York will be more than happy to assist you with your child’s dental health issues and to provide more information on proper dental care for teeth.

Contact us today to set up your free consultation, and make the move to a happier and healthier smile.

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