Cavities are incredibly common in kids and young adults. In fact, according to the CDC, more than half of kids between six and eight have had a cavity in their baby teeth, and nearly 60% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 have had a cavity in their permanent teeth. The good news is that your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands can often spot and treat cavities before they become serious and require additional treatment. But there are some key signs of cavities that you can look for in between appointments.
One of the most common signs of tooth decay in children is new or more severe tooth sensitivity. While tooth sensitivity can occur when your child is eating or drinking something hot or cold without a cavity, extreme zings of pain after enjoying something hot or cold may be a sign of decay. Additionally, another sign of a cavity is if your child experiences tooth sensitivity after eating a sweet, sugary treat. Why? Well, when tooth enamel is weakened by decay, it can expose the tooth roots to things that cause pain – such as heat, cold, and sweets.
While tooth discoloration can be caused by any number of things, in kids, discoloration may be a sign of decay. Usually, when we think of tooth decay, we think of dark spots, but a cavity can also start as a new white spot. Over time, the area may start to become darker, and that’s a sign that it’s time to see your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands. As with all dental problems, decay can become serious quickly, so it’s important to keep an eye on your kid’s teeth to look for any changes in color and schedule an appointment with your kid’s dentist if you suspect decay.
Cavities are essentially holes in the teeth where decay has worn away enamel. Even though some cavities can be seen or felt by searching for new areas of pitting, many times these pits or holes are so tiny that they can’t be seen with the naked eye. However, your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands has special tools and techniques that can spot a pit easily, even if it’s super tiny. In fact, the smaller the pitting the less severe the cavity is, so it’s ultimately a good thing if you can’t see or feel it. Now, if you do see a new pit or hole in your child’s tooth, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your kid’s dentist sooner rather than later. After all, early treatment often means easier treatment and reduces the chance of a cavity-causing bigger issue.
The best way to keep kids from getting cavities is to make sure they brush and floss regularly and see their dentist at least twice a year. Not only will your child get a thorough, gentle cleaning at these visits, but they’re also a great way for your dentist to check for any early signs of decay.