All parents do their best to teach children proper dental hygiene. Yet, the number of youngsters who get cavities or suffer tooth decay remains concerning. Many children between 5 and 11 years old and not a few adolescents have at least one untreated instance of tooth decay. Part of the reason for this is that children often develop anxiety about visiting the dentist, making it a challenge to instill positive dental habits and monitor oral health. This is why it’s so important that young children are exposed early to getting dental exams. This ensures that they are familiar with the process and thus less fearful. Finding the right family dentist is the key. Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch offers affordable general dental care for the entire family.
At Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch, our staff of professionals believes every child’s smile is precious. That’s why we work diligently to deliver family dentistry services to help parents prevent cavities and tooth decay. While Texas families are usually aware that sugary treats and snacks are viewed as leading causes of cavities, having a detailed understanding of how cavities form and knowing the not-so-obvious signs of decay could save a child’s smile. We hope this overview of cavity formation and recognition proves valuable.
What Families Need To Know About Tooth Decay
Parents generally connect things like candy and soda to cavities. But what you may not know is that a wide range of seemingly healthy foods can also start the cavity formation process. Foods such as bread and fruits, among others, may also merge with otherwise healthy saliva and bacteria. When this occurs, an acidic plaque develops that causes what a family dentistry professional calls “demineralization.” That’s a technical way of speaking to the way acids attack the hard enamel protecting teeth.
The resulting pits are what everyday people call cavities. What’s essential to know about even healthy foods is that when they get stuck between teeth and transition to aggressive plaque, your child is at increased risk of demineralization. Without prompt removal and teeth cleaning, the acids bore through the hard coating and impact teeth’ soft inner tissue. Now you have the beginning of serious tooth decay. These are the stages of tooth decay:
- White discoloration forms on the surface of a child’s tooth.
- Brown spots begin to appear on first or permanent teeth.
- Acids penetrate the enamel and damage inner tooth tissue.
- Tooth decay spreads, destroying the tooth and impacting gums.
As a family and pediatric dentistry practice that works to ensure our community members enjoy the best oral hygiene and smile possible, we advocate brushing at least twice daily and regular flossing. It’s also important to remove foods that get caught between teeth promptly before plaque can form. Given the troubling statistics about childhood cavities and tooth decay, parents can make proactive decisions when they can recognize the telltale signs of cavities. Our family practice also encourages fluoride treatments to help prevent tooth decay as well.
Telltale Signs Your Child May Have A Cavity
One crucial thing that would be wise to remember is that teeth do not have regenerative powers. The ordinary scrapes and bruises children accumulate heal over time. Damages teeth do not. That’s why knowing the following symptoms of cavities that may be hidden from plain view are critical.
- Your child complains of sudden tooth pain.
- Teeth are susceptible to heat or cold.
- Your child has difficulty biting down or chewing.
One of the symptoms that everyday people rarely attribute to cavities and tooth decay is headaches. When cavities penetrate deep into teeth, puss and infection may form and spread. Headaches can be a symptom of a serious condition and require immediate dental services.
Contact Lovett Dental Cinco Ranch If You Need Family Dentistry
Even the most conscientious parents discover their children have at least one cavity at some point. While consistent dental hygiene remains the first line of defense, prompt action can prevent a seemingly minor cavity from turning into a major tooth decay condition. Look to our team to provide your family with: