Cavities are very common in children. However, if a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to serious and painful oral health conditions including gum disease or dental abscess. That’s why it is crucial that children begin seeing a dentist twice a year beginning with their first birthday. Regular pediatric dental appointments will reveal any cavities your child has developed. But are there other ways you can tell if your child has a cavity? Yes. Read on for signs your child has developed a cavity.
Signs of a Cavity in a Child’s Tooth
Although a toothache is often the first sign of a cavity, young children may not always tell you that something is wrong. So, be sure to take note of these signs and symptoms that your child may have a cavity.
- Your child is chewing differently
- Your child doesn’t want to eat
- White spots appear on the teeth
- Light brown spots develop on a tooth
- You can see a hole or pit in a tooth
- Your child becomes sensitive to hot or cold foods
- Your child becomes sensitive to sweet foods
- Your child’s gums bleed when brushing or flossing
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to book your child an appointment for a comprehensive evaluation and dental cleaning.
Pediatric Dentists Focus on Preventing Cavities Before they Form
During your child’s biannual oral exam and cleaning appointments your pediatric dentist will be looking for any signs that your child’s teeth may be susceptible to developing cavities. In some cases, they may recommend preventative, painless treatments to keep your child’s teeth healthy.
Flouride treatments help to strengthen teeth that may be showing signs of demineralization. Teeth that have suffered demineralization are at greater risk of developing cavities. Fluoride is applied to the surface of the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. It is an entirely painless treatment.
Dental sealants are another excellent, non-invasive, and painless treatment that helps prevent cavities. Sealants are most often applied to the molars, which due to their grooves and crevices, are prone to bacterial accumulation. Accumulation of bacteria leads to tooth decay. Sealants fill in the grooves and crevices preventing bacterial accumulation.
Does My Child Need to Have a Cavity Filled?
Any cavities that develop in your child’s permanent teeth need to be filled. If your child develops a cavity in a baby tooth that is close to falling out, your dentist may tell you that it is not necessary to fill it. If however, your child develops a cavity and the baby tooth will stay in place for a while, they will recommend filling the tooth.
There are two types of fillings. Amalgam fillings are often used on the molars, which are responsible for most chewing. Amalgam is very strong and can withstand significant force. Composite fillings are made of a special resin material that blends in with the natural color of your child’s teeth. They are often used to fill cavities in permanent teeth or cavities in the front teeth.
Book Your Child’s Dental Exam and Cleaning in Long Island
With five convenient locations in Long Island, Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry prioritizes patients who are suffering from tooth pain. If your child has developed a toothache, contact our nearest office for a priority appointment. If your child hasn’t yet seen a dentist or it's been more than six months since their last checkup, book your regular exam and cleaning appointment today.