Grandville Pediatric Dentists West Michigan

3 Ways to Tell if Your Child Has a Cavity

Cavity Grandville MI pediatric dentists

3 Ways to Tell if Your Child Has a Cavity

Cavity Grandville MI pediatric dentists

Children are told to brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss but let’s be honest, they’re not always the most reliable when they’re young. Because of this, a cavity (and subsequent filling by our Grandville pediatric dentists) isn’t out of the question.

Here are 3 signs of cavities in children and tips from our pediatric dentists on how you can halt tooth decay.

Causes of Cavities in Baby Teeth

No parent wants to see their child develop a cavity because that translates into a filling or possibly even a pediatric dental crown. Unfortunately, cavities can happen and not all show themselves in the same way.

Our pediatric dentists recommend regular cleanings and at-home oral care to fight off harmful bacteria on baby teeth. If you’re interested in additional protection beyond what using a toothbrush can provide, ask us about having dental sealants applied on your child’s back molars.

For many children, cavities can develop because of:

  • A diet high in sugars and starches (i.e., milk, fruit juice, bread, sugary foods etc.)
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Going to sleep with bottles – leads to high risk of “baby bottle tooth decay
  • Little exposure to fluoride

Cavity Treatment May Be Needed If Your Child:

1) Has a Discolored Tooth

Tooth decay typically progresses from white spots on teeth to a darker shade of brown or black if not treated. Not every patient experiences this, however, which is why brushing, flossing, and checkups every 6 months are so important.

If you notice a white spot on one of your child’s teeth, this means the enamel is beginning to break down. It’s common for sensitivity to result because of this early decay. Once the tooth has a light brown color, you’ve got an early cavity and as it grows deeper, the color darkens.

2) Acts Irritable or Cranky

When they’re really young, children aren’t always the best at communicating what they’re feeling. Where you have the language to express that your tooth hurts or is sensitive, they may not. Instead, they act cranky, cry, and are short-tempered.

Helping your child work through what they’re experiencing is key here. Try to ask easy questions and locate the source of the discomfort as best you can. Even better, bring them into our Grandville pediatric dental office and we’ll take a closer look.

3) Is Experiencing Tooth Pain or Sensitivity

Has your little one been eating their food a certain way to avoid a painful tooth? New eating habits or behaviors can sometimes indicate something’s up with their mouth. Again, it might be difficult for them to articulate how they feel but even if they can’t explain why something hurts, they can usually still tell you about pain in simple terms.

How to Get In Front of Cavities 

You can practice cavity prevention at home with your children by encouraging them to brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily. Be sure to help them if they are too young and use an appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste based on their age.

Aside from oral hygiene, limit your child’s intake of sugary foods and make sure they’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Sweets are fine as treats and in moderation, but you don’t want to overdo it in combination with inadequate oral care.

Take Your Child’s Dental Issues Seriously 

Sometimes cavities happen and they aren’t always the most obvious. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can discover them by listening and observing your child. If you’re unsure, it’s never a bad idea to bring them in to be seen by our pediatric dentists in Grandville, MI. Call Grandville Pediatric Dentistry today at (616) 531-3430 to request an appointment for your little one(s).

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