Tooth decay or cavities are common in children. It generally develops when your baby’s mouth is infected by acid producing bacteria. It also develops when your child’s teeth is exposed to food other than water for longer duration. Tooth decay initially appears as white spots at the gum line or on the upper front teeth. This needs to be examined and treated early to stop decay from spreading.

The data by National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research suggests that 27% of children aged between 2-5 are infected with tooth decay.  Some of the most common causes of tooth decay in babies and toddlers are:

Forgetting to Brush or Wipe Teeth
As soon as the first teeth appear, you should keep them clean to prevent the formation of cavities and plaque. By the time your baby’s teeth appear, you can simply wipe them with a wet cloth.

Too Many Sugary Drinks
When your child is young and relying on breastfeeding, it becomes impossible to avoid these drinks altogether. However, when they are old enough to take other solid food, it becomes essential to limit sugary food and drinks, including juice.

Not Visiting the Dentist
Not seeing the dentist for long can delay the development of good oral hygiene habits. It also prevents early detection of plaque buildup. The longer plaque isn’t removed, the maximum are its chances of leading to decay.

Also, if you keep waiting for long between subsequent visits, it can trigger dental anxiety at the next visit.

How a Dentist Identifies If There Is Cavity
At each visit, the dentist will examine your child’s teeth, tongue and gums for potential signs of dental decay. For a thorough examination, x ray or cleaning is done. This helps in detecting early signs of disease and other preventative recommendation based on their findings.

Cavities in toddlers can affect the permanent teeth as well. Small cavities need small filings whereas big cavities need big filings. Cavities close to the tooth nerve should be evaluated for root canal treatment. The whole objective behind is to restore the baby’s tooth and develop an infection free environment for the permanent teeth.

Decay in teeth should be diagnosed at an early stage and then followed by good oral hygiene habits, dietary guidance and 6 month regular dental appointment. Treatment and maintenance of dental health can lay a strong foundation for upcoming permanent teeth.