6 Signs of Tooth Decay in Children

6 Signs of Tooth Decay in Children

Feb 25, 2019

The signs and the causes of tooth decay in children are similar to those in adults. However, it is difficult to recognize tooth decay in infants and toddlers. This article will list and discuss the 6 signs for parents to identify decay in their children’s teeth.

Dr. Jason Hirsch and the oral healthcare professionals at Hirsch Pediatric Dental, located near you in the 33411 area code in the Palm Beaches of Florida, want to educate the parents of its patients, current and new, on the early signs of tooth decay in infants, toddlers and adolescents.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby teeth begin to form at the ages of 3-6 months. These teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they erupt through the gumline. The earliest sign of tooth decay in babies is white spots on the teeth. These spots will look chalky and will be located near the gums.

In this early stage, an experienced pediatric dentist will recommend fluoride treatments and a change in the child’s diet.

Severe Cases of Tooth Decay in Children

The #1 chronic disease in children is pediatric dental disease. If decay becomes severe to the point that primary teeth are lost too early, then other dental conditions will develop.

Decay in children is usually found first on the front teeth. If the front teeth are lost prematurely, then there will be problems with the alignment of, and the spacing between, the permanent teeth. Any misalignment of the front permanent teeth will affect biting, speech and oral health.

In addition to the white, chalky spots near the gumline, parents need to be vigilant for:

  • brown or black spots on enamel
  • swollen, red or bleeding gums
  • irritability
  • fever
  • unpleasant breath

Although irritability and fever are also signs of other childhood conditions, decay and infection of the teeth should not be ruled out.

Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

In children, as with adults, tooth decay is caused when bacteria and acids, combined with sugars in food and beverages, accumulate on teeth over a long period of time. Below are ways to prevent tooth decay in children:

  • before the baby teeth erupt, clean the baby’s gums with a wet cloth or gauze
  • substitute water for juice
  • avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle or a sippy cup filled with milk or juice
  • gently brush a young child’s teeth with water
  • at the age of 2, begin brushing your child’s teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste

If you would like a consultation with an experienced pediatric dentist regarding tooth decay in children, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Hirsch Pediatric Dental, located in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, where new patients are always welcome.

Hirsch Pediatric Dental is trusted and highly recommended in the care and the prevention of tooth decay in children, as well as other treatments and procedures in pediatric dentistry.

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