Cavities in baby teeth are not unusual. Over 20% of kids under the age of five will experience a cavity. That number jumps to over 50% in kids ages 6-11. Don’t be alarmed if your child develops a cavity, but know that it needs treatment.
Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which in turn is caused by damaged tooth enamel. Acid forms in your child’s mouth after eating or drinking. That acid attacks the tooth enamel.
Weakened enamel allows decay and leads to holes, which are cavities. Cavities (sometimes called carries) can continue to decay if they are not treated, causing larger holes.
Sometimes there are no obvious symptoms and a cavity will be discovered by your pediatric dentist. Other times, one or more of these symptoms may appear.
Your child uses their baby teeth for a long time. Their teeth do a lot of hard work in those early years.
Tooth decay can be painful. A baby tooth with an untreated cavity is likely to hurt, and get worse as the decay spreads. Baby teeth with cavities can prevent your child from eating healthy food. They may not want to chew on a painful tooth.
Baby teeth damaged by decay and cavities can affect the way your child speaks. They can also prevent adult teeth from forming and emerging properly and damage alignment.
Your pediatric dentist will treat a cavity in a baby tooth just like one in an adult tooth—with a filling. This simple procedure can stop the decay in its tracks, eliminate pain, and keep the rest of your child’s teeth healthy.
Make sure your child brushes their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. They should floss each day. Keep sugary treats to a minimum and have your child drink a lot of water to rinse sugars and acids from their teeth.