How to Choose a Cavity-Fighting Toothpaste for Your Child

We’ve all faced a confusing array of options in the dental care aisle. In this month’s blog, let’s consider these two cavity-fighting toothpaste options for your kiddos and determine which might be the optimal choice for their oral health.

Fluoridated toothpaste: The trusted guardian

Cavity protection:

Fluoride toothpaste is the gold standard for toothpaste. It has a known efficacy in guarding against cavities. How does it achieve this though? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that acts as a protective barrier for teeth, strengthening enamel against acid erosion caused by bacteria.

Enamel restoration:

Beyond protection, fluoride plays a pivotal role in enamel repair by fostering remineralization. It replenishes minerals in weakened enamel, effectively addressing the early stages of tooth decay.

Established reputation:

Fluoridated toothpaste has been around for a while since it has been proven to be a reliable partner in keeping teeth healthy. Its widespread endorsement by dentists has solidified its reputation as the recommended treatment.

Hydroxyapatite toothpaste: The natural caretaker

Derived from nature:

Synthetic hydroxyapatite, which is a crucial part of dental enamel, is incorporated into toothpaste recipes. The qualities of the actual mineral are mimicked by this biomimetic material.

Enamel nurturing:

Think of toothpaste with hydroxyapatite as a caring partner for enamel. Enamel is strengthened and repaired in an effort to smooth out flaws and maybe reduce tooth sensitivity, helping to rejuvenate your teeth. 

Fluoride-free alternative: 

A desirable substitute that offers freedom from fluoride while preserving dental health is hydroxyapatite toothpaste, which appeals to people looking for fluoride-free options or who are worried about consuming fluoride.

Comparative review:

Cavity prevention: While toothpaste containing hydroxyapatite is good at repairing enamel, it is still relatively new in the field of cavity prevention. Fluoride toothpaste has a strong track record in this regard.

Enamel strengthening: 

Both versions seek to support the health of the enamel, but they do so in different ways. While toothpaste containing hydroxyapatite adds synthetic hydroxyapatite to strengthen enamel, fluoride toothpaste uses fluoride for remineralization.

Fluoride consideration:

An important differentiation can be made between fluoride and fluoride-free options. For individuals who are hesitant about consuming fluoride, hydroxyapatite toothpaste is a viable option, even though fluoride toothpaste is supported by substantial research.
Personal preference:

The best toothpaste to use ultimately depends on a person’s unique must haves, including sensitivity, requirements for maintaining good dental health, and personal preferences such as taste, or natural ingredients.
Balancing fluoride in your routine:

One last thing before we go… 

Fluoride is a mineral found in toothpaste that acts as a kind of cavity defender. It is wise to evaluate your intake of fluoride, particularly shedding light on non-fluoridated communities along the South Shore such as Braintree. It is also important to consider your child’s daily fluoride intake and the sources of fluoride. Are they getting an adequate daily supply of fluoride from tap water, toothpaste, mouth rinses, and diet? 

The CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride tool provides information about the fluoride level in your water. It’s critical to keep your child’s fluoride consumption balanced. Dr. Anderson and her Sprout Kids Dentistry Team follow the guidelines outlined in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Policy on Use of Fluoride Dr. Anderson’s preferred toothpaste selections for every need

  • Trusted Household Choice: Opt for the reliability of Crest, Colgate, or Tom’s of Maine for consistent dental care.
  • Hydroxyapatite Enriched: Experience advanced enamel repair with Risewell, a leader in hydroxyapatite technology.
  • Focus on Pure Ingredients: Choose Twice for a toothpaste that emphasizes clean, health-conscious ingredients.
  • Flavorful Dental Experience: Try the unique and enjoyable flavors of Tom’s of Maine, making brushing a treat.
  • Comfort for Sensitive Teeth: Trust Sensodyne for gentle and effective care in managing tooth sensitivity.

Whether you prefer the all-natural benefits of hydroxyapatite or the tried-and-true effectiveness of fluoride, the end result is always the same: maintaining the integrity and brightness of your child’s teeth. 

Schedule Your Appointment

Remember, your child’s smile is our success! Feel free to reach out to us with any queries or for further information. All of us at Sprout Kids Dentistry look forward to maintaining the oral health of our little ones in Quincy, MA. Fill out an online contact form to schedule an appointment today.

Back to Blogs

The 3 Most Important Ages for Kids to Visit the Dentist

As a parent, your child’s health is your number one priority. While doctor’s visits are something you’re not unfamiliar with, you might be wondering when you should be taking your child to the dentist. This is an excellent question, and there are a few key ages where dentist visits are vital. If you’re looking to establish a strong foundation for your child’s dental health, let’s walk through the three most important ages for kids to visit the dentist so that you can keep your little ones on track.

When Should Your Child Visit the Dentist? Start at Age 1

Kids dentistry should be a focus for parents when children are as young as one year old. This is the age when baby teeth start to come in and make an appearance, and visiting a dentist can help you learn more about their development and the current state of their teeth. There are also numerous activities and behaviors regarding oral health that parents have questions about, including teething, thumb-sucking, and beyond. A dentist visit gives you the support and insight you need to properly care for your child’s oral health.

Schedule Another Visit at Age 4

As your child starts to learn how to care for their teeth, there may still be times when they slip up. Taking them to the dentist at age four can ensure that they don’t have any cavities or if they do, give them the care and treatment they need. If they carry over any bad habits from early childhood that are affecting their teeth, this is also an excellent time to learn how to deter these behaviors for better oral health.

Their Next Crucial Milestone Will be Age 7

As permanent teeth start coming in and your child begins developing the smile that they’ll carry into their teenage years and adulthood, it’s important to assess their smile to see how teeth are aligning and if there are any malocclusions. Many parents may think that seeing a dentist and a specialist like an orthodontist is only to improve the cosmetic look of a smile. However, bites that aren’t quite aligned and teeth that are coming in and causing issues can cause discomfort and make it harder for children to lead their best lives. Visiting a dentist at seven years old can ensure that there are no issues that need to be addressed at that age.

Get the Care Your Child Deserves at Sprout Kids Dentistry

If you’re a parent looking for the best pediatric dentistry near Boston to help your child keep their oral health in great shape, start here with Sprout Kids Dentistry. We don’t just emphasize quality care but also provide your child with a fun, safe space where they can feel comfortable getting the dental care and support they need. Schedule an appointment with us today to see where they’re at and learn more about how to support them moving forward!

Back to Blogs

How Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental tartar and plaques often hide where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. If your child has had many cavities or is struggling with brushing their molars well, our team may recommend dental sealants. Dental sealants are a clear, BPA-free resin coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This sealant reduces the plaque’s ability to accumulate. Overall, dental sealants can offer a lot of benefits. We’ve taken the time to outline the benefits below.

Seals Chewing Surfaces

While you may reinforce teeth brushing in your home, your child may still struggle to clean their back teeth, which can sometimes be hard to reach. Sealing the molars can help with this issue, reducing the risk for cavities.

Reduces Nooks and Crannies for Plaque

Dental plaque loves to eat starch and sugar that is left behind on your child’s teeth. If your child is not brushing away the plaque on their molars, plaque can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Dental sealants cover the pits and fissures that plaque likes to hide in.

Protects Tooth Enamel

Once enamel is eroded, it is gone for good. This is why it is very important for your child to brush and floss daily. Dental sealants can offer an extra layer of protection to your child’s teeth. Sealants are recommended as soon as the permanent molars erupt, around the age of six. A child’s second set of permanent molars will erupt around the age of 12, which will need sealants as well.

The Sealant Process is Quick and Painless

The process of applying dental sealants is a simple one. First, the teeth are cleaned and prepared with a conditioner. The sealant is then applied to the teeth, which hardens for 1-2 minutes using a curing light. Sealants can last one to two years before they should be reapplied due to the regular wear and tear of chewing.

Sealants can Save You Money

While sealants are a quick and easy solution for protecting a child’s teeth, they are also more cost-effective than dental restorations. Preventing the need for cavity treatment makes sealants a fantastic preventative choice for children.

Request a Consultation

Overall, sealants are a great way to help keep cavities at bay. If you are interested in getting sealants for your child’s teeth, we can help! Contact Sprout Kids Dentistry near Boston, MA today to schedule an appointment.

Back to Blogs

When to Begin Orthodontic Evaluation for Kids

At some point, while your children are aging, you will want to take care of their oral health, whether that requires trips to the dentist or even orthodontic evaluations. You may wonder if there is a suitable age to start orthodontic treatment. We look forward to treating your child’s dental issues at Sprout Kids Dentistry.

The Importance of Orthodontic Evaluation

Wanting your children to be healthy is a common goal for many parents. Although treatments can look different from child to child, an orthodontic evaluation is vital because it determines a plan and addresses concerns before they are visible to you. Not all children need early orthodontic treatment, but an appointment can evaluate and identify potential issues.

What Age Should I Schedule an Orthodontic Evaluation?

You may have noticed people of all ages wearing braces. Although this is common, the best time to start orthodontic care is between the ages of seven and ten. Early orthodontic treatment can intercept and identify issues before your child’s baby teeth even fall out.

Your Child’s Orthodontic Evaluation

Children should go to a dentist regularly before visiting an orthodontist. It is recommended that children have an orthodontic evaluation by age seven by the American Association of Orthodontists. Early evaluation can diminish the need for extensive orthodontic treatments later in life. Early evaluation can identify and treat oral problems before more significant issues occur.

The Best Age to Get Braces

The most common age for braces is between 11 and 14 years old. This is when children lose most of their baby teeth. Some specialists will recommend using dental appliances to begin, followed by a shorter second phase of treatment with braces.

Phases of Orthodontic Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment can utilize palate expanders, space maintainers, and fixed or removable dental appliances. These treatments can occur in both dental phases.

Phase 1

Phase one can begin when children still have their baby teeth. Interceptive care during this phase can address many orthodontic issues, including underbite, overbite, crossbite, capped teeth, and an abnormal number of teeth.

Phase 2

Phase two begins when your child has all their adult teeth. This phase is also referred to as full orthodontic treatment. This phase can include braces and teeth aligners.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Anderson is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. At Sprout Kids Dentistry, your skilled pediatric dentists strive to give you worry-free dental visits for your children. If you are interested in pediatric dentistry in Boston, contact us to schedule a consultation with Sprout Kids Dentistry today.

Back to Blogs

5 Reasons to Schedule Your Child’s Back to School Dental Appointment Now

Back to school is a busy time as you get your children ready for the coming school year. A new year of classes and lessons often means new school supplies, clothes, and shoes, so it’s easy to neglect scheduling dental appointments. However, these visits are crucial to keeping your kids’ teeth ready for the school year.

Let’s take a look at five reasons you need to schedule your child’s dentist appointment before they head back to school.

Everyone Is Busy

Kids’ dentistry can be easier to arrange during the summer. Dental offices that offer pediatric dentistry in Boston usually have a slowdown in appointments while families are on vacation. That can lead to a rush of appointments at the end of summer, so it’s a good idea to schedule a routine check-up as soon as you can before everyone else tries to do so at the last minute.

Keeping Kids in School

Your children might love the idea of missing school, even if it means visiting the dentist. But keeping them in school is always a better alternative than disrupting the day with dental appointments. Getting them into the dentist before school starts up again ensures they stay in class once it is back in session. If possible, schedule their six-month check-ups during their summer and winter vacations.

Current Dental Records Are Important

Many school districts require families to provide copies of both medical and dental records before students can attend classes. Even if your kid’s school doesn’t do this, it’s a great idea to keep current on the medical and dental treatments your child might need to keep them strong and healthy. Whether it’s their first visit or they’ve been coming to us for years, it’s important to stay up to date with their oral health.

Healthy Mouths Mean Healthy Minds

The quality of a person’s dental health directly impacts their risk level for a variety of other medical conditions. Help your child avoid potential complications, like cavities, by maintaining their schedule of dental cleanings at six-month intervals.

We Want To See You

Our dentists love helping kids get ready for the new school year, and we want to catch up with you. We truly enjoy seeing how much your kids have grown since we saw them last, and we want to help them keep learning how important healthy teeth and gums are. Schedule your kid’s next appointment to give us a chance to make sure your family’s dental health is ready for the coming year.

Services We Provide at Sprouts Kids Dentistry

No matter when you come and visit us, you can be sure your child will get the best quality treatment they need to ensure their oral healthcare. Some of the treatments and services we offer include:

Schedule Your Kid’s Back-to-School Appointment Now

Having your child see their dentist ensures their mouth stays healthy through their younger years, and a happy smile can boost their confidence during the challenges of growing up. Schedule your family’s appointment with us at Sprout Kids Dentistry today. Whether you’re a returning family or new to our practice, we’re here to help your kids enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles.

To schedule an appointment, call our Quincy, MA office at 617-934-6339 or use our online contact form.

Back to Blogs

At What Age Should My Child Brush Their Own Teeth?

Life as a parent is a journey filled with an array of ‘firsts.’ Each milestone plays a crucial role in their development, from your child’s first steps to their first words. Equally important, though often overlooked, is the milestone of mastering independent tooth brushing. It’s about more than just fresh breath and bright smiles; it’s about nurturing habits that lay the groundwork for lifelong dental health.

Understanding the Basics: Tooth Brushing Before Age 7

The early years of your child’s life offer the perfect opportunity to instill the importance of good oral hygiene. However, children under the age of 7 typically need more manual dexterity to brush their teeth effectively. This is where your role as a parent comes into play.

Just as you’d teach them how to tie shoelaces,  or button their shirts, or fasten a necklace, you can also guide them in learning the proper tooth-brushing technique. Demonstrate by brushing your teeth alongside them, making sure to highlight key practices like using gentle, circular strokes to clean every tooth surface, including those hard-to-reach molars at the back, the inside of the teeth, and right down to the gum line. It’s a practical and engaging way for your little ones to learn.

The Transition Phase: Developing an Independent Brusher

As your child grows, their abilities evolve too. Usually, between 7 and 9, children start showing signs that they’re ready to take the reins of their tooth-brushing routine. However, the shift from supervised brushing to independent brushing is not solely an age-based transition. There are vital skills and traits your child should demonstrate:

Dexterity

If you’ve noticed your child skillfully tying their own shoelaces, knots or bows, cutting soft foods with a knife, write in cursive, or draw detailed pictures, it’s a promising sign. The fine motor skills required for this are similar to those needed for effective tooth brushing.

Responsibility

An essential part of becoming an independent brusher is demonstrating responsibility. Evaluate how your child handles daily tasks such as routine hand washing, combing hair, or making the bed. If they manage these tasks independently and consistently, they’re likely ready to take on their tooth-brushing routine.

Spitting Skills

While it may seem trivial, mastering the act of spitting is a critical component of tooth brushing. Younger children often struggle to spit out toothpaste, which can lead to swallowing excess amounts. Encourage your child to spit into the sink and ensure they’ve mastered this skill before graduating to independent brushing.

Validating Independence: The Plaque-disclosing Test

Even after your child demonstrates the necessary dexterity, responsibility, and spitting skills, gauging how effectively they’re brushing is useful. A simple and practical approach is the plaque disclosing test. A plaque-disclosing mouthwash such as Listerine Smart Rinse is readily available at grocery stores like CVS, Walgreens, Target, and Walmart. It stains the plaque on teeth, making it visible and showing how well your child is brushing. Successfully passing the plaque disclosing test indicates that your child is ready to brush their teeth independently.

Schedule An Appointment Today

Remember, every child is unique, and their ability to brush independently may vary. At Sprout Kids Dentistry in Quincy, MA, our mission is to work alongside parents to ensure children develop sound oral hygiene habits.

If you still have questions or concerns about your child’s dental health, our pediatric dental experts led by Dr. Anderson are always ready to assist. Schedule a consultation today to help your child achieve the brightest smile! Together, we can help your child navigate the path to dental independence.

Back to Blogs

How Sugar Can Affect Your Child’s Oral Health

As a parent, you may worry about your child having a serious sweet tooth especially if they can’t seem to get enough sweet treats. Generally, children have a stronger affinity for sugary and salty foods than adults, and they don’t need to learn to like these flavors. According to recent research, children’s sweet tooth and desire for sugary foods may increase during growth spurts, when their bodies require more calories and energy. Although there’s no harm in giving your kid a treat occasionally, constant access to sugary sweets might damage their teeth and gums. Let’s dive into how sugar may damage kids’ teeth and how you can help them develop lifelong, healthy dental routines.

How Sugar Impacts Dental Health

Although it’s commonly known that overeating sugar may cause cavities, this mechanism may be unclear. There are a lot of bacteria in our mouths. Therefore, if your child doesn’t brush their teeth thoroughly after consuming something sweet, the bacteria will utilize the sugar to latch on to the tooth’s surface and feed. As these bacteria feed, they rapidly multiply, creating plaque and producing acid that gradually erodes the tooth enamel. Cavities arise when these acids bore through the tooth’s surface, creating holes. If cavities go untreated, they can progress beyond the enamel and into the deeper parts of the tooth such as the nerve resulting in pain and potential tooth loss.

Tips For Safeguarding Your Child’s Oral Health

Maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for everyone, but it’s especially critical for children because of the sugar and corn syrup they ingest in their meals and beverages, respectively. The following are some measures to safeguard your child’s teeth and smile from tooth decay and cavities if you’re concerned that their sweet tooth may put them at risk for developing cavities.

Increase Their Water Intake

Water is the healthiest beverage option for your toddler. It’s fantastic for their teeth and overall health and keeps them hydrated. Also, your child may reduce their risk of developing cavities by drinking fluoridated water after eating sugary or acidic meals.

Encourage Flossing

Plaque doesn’t pick and choose where it attacks; it builds up equally on the teeth’s surfaces and the spaces between them. Therefore, by helping your child to floss daily, you will assist them in breaking up all that plaque and removing it before it develops into cavities or possibly gum disease.

Regularly Brush Their Teeth

You can effectively eliminate plaque from your child’s teeth by encouraging them to brush twice daily for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. An electric toothbrush can work wonders if your child is willing to use one. In addition, remember to remind your kid to clean their tongue to eliminate germs that may lead to foul breath and other dental problems.

Use Fluoride

According to the American Dental Association, fluoride is an effective and safe way to prevent and treat tooth decay. Thus, ensure your kid gets lots of fluoridated water, uses a fluoridated mouthwash nightly, and routinely brushes with fluoride toothpaste.

Set Up an Appointment

Taking your child to the dentist early improves their long-term health and happiness and also helps to catch and prevent dental issues early. Give Sprout Kids Dentistry a call today or submit an online form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Anderson.

Back to Blogs

How Do I Know If Sealants Are Right for My Child?

At Sprout Kids Dentistry, we want your child to have the healthiest smile possible. To ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy, sealants are sometimes needed. But what are dental sealants and are they necessary for your child? Let’s find out.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin, clear plastic coatings that are placed onto the chewing surface of your child’s premolars or molars to form a protective shield from food debris, bacteria, plaque, and acids. It’s essentially sealing the tooth to prevent cavities and tooth decay. They can also be placed over spots of early decay to prevent further damage.

According to the CDC, sealants prevent up to 80% of cavities in molars. 

Why Are Premolars and Molars More Prone to Developing Tooth Decay?

The chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars have pits and fissures that food, plaque, and particles can sit in. This can provide cavity-causing bacteria a food source to grow. And as the bacteria feed and grow, they produce acids that can erode the tooth’s enamel and result in tooth decay and ultimately, cavities.

Are Sealants Right for Your Child?

Sealants can work for all children but especially ones who are prone to developing cavities. The age of six is usually when sealants are applied for the first time. This is when the first set of permanent molars are just starting to come in. 

Protecting these early teeth from tooth decay and cavities reduces the chance of a child developing future cavities or other dental problems.

What Is the Sealant Procedure?

Applying sealants is a simple, safe, and painless procedure that can be completed in one visit to the dentist office. Your child won’t need anesthesia and there is no drilling involved. 

The procedure begins by cleaning your child’s teeth and then drying them completely. From there, we prepare the chewing surface by roughing it up with an etching solution. This helps the sealant to bond to the tooth. Next, the sealant is painted on the pits and fissures of the molars. Finally, a special light hardens the sealant. It’s that simple.

How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Sealants typically last 5 to 10 years but your child’s dentist should evaluate the sealant for chips and wear every time they have an appointment.  If needed, we can reapply the sealant so the tooth remains protected. But remember, sealants do not mean your child doesn’t need to brush and floss. Sealants are preventing further tooth decay. They are not meant as a replacement for proper dental hygiene.

Should Your Child Have Dental Sealants?

Whether your child should have dental sealants or not is a decision that should be made between your dentist and you. You’ll want to consider your child’s daily lifestyle, what they eat, and how prone to cavities they are. Your dentist can help you make the right decision for your child.

Schedule A Consultation

Looking to learn more about sealants for your child or think  that they are right for the procedure? Schedule a consultation today by calling Sprout Kids Dentistry at our Quincy, MA office or schedule an appointment online. We can help your child feel safe and comfortable with the entire dental experience. 

Back to Blogs

4 Ways to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

A healthy mouth will ensure your child can speak, eat, and smile with confidence later in life. Although
baby teeth are only temporary, a long-term outlook toward dental care is still essential to setting your
child up for success. Baby teeth are still just as susceptible to decay as adult teeth, and one of the most
common ways that babies experience tooth decay is from baby bottles, sippy cups and straw cups. 

Sometimes called bottle rot, it’s important to know its causes and how to avoid them with the help of our pediatric dentist.

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Bottle rot occurs when your baby drinks sugary liquids like milk or formula throughout the day frequently. 

This process encourages the growth of harmful bacteria and acid on the teeth, which wear away at the enamel and lead to decay. Over time, this consistent exposure can cause cavities and even more serious dental pain and infections. Many babies don’t show symptoms at first but if not treated early, it can lead to discomfort and more serious damage to the teeth.

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Consistent exposure to sugary drinks causes tooth decay, but there are a few culprits that are specific to
babies. They include:

  • Falling asleep with a bottle in their mouth
  • Consuming sugary drinks, milk, or breast milk before sleeping without cleaning the teeth and mouth afterwards
  • Frequent feeding otherwise known as “grazing” throughout the day
  • Sharing utensils
  • Constant and/or long-term pacifier use

These things promote bacterial growth and without proper oral care, it can lead to decay later on.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

There are four ways to prevent exposure to bacteria and prevent further damage.

1. Keep up on AAP guidelines for cleaning

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that for babies under 12 months old, you gently wipe
the gums clean with a soft washcloth. Once the first tooth emerges, use a soft baby toothbrush and a
tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste to gently brush. For children 1-3 years old, use a soft bristle
toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, gently brushing their teeth twice daily for at least two minutes. The
best times to brush are before bed and after breakfast.

2. Only put formula or milk in baby bottles

Giving your baby drinks that are high in sugar content can put them at further risk for tooth decay. Avoid
sugar water, juice, Pediasure or soft drinks. Stick to formula, milk, or water in their bottles.

3. Don’t let them fall asleep with a bottle

Although it may help them sleep, using a bottle as a pacifier can expose your baby’s teeth to sugar and bacteria while they sleep. If you must give them a bottle to sleep with, clean it thoroughly and put water in it instead.

4. Visit a pediatric dentist regularly

Your baby’s pediatric dentist can help keep an eye on any tooth decay and help you learn the best ways
to keep your child’s oral health in good shape. Make sure to schedule your child for regular checkups
and follow your pediatric dentist’s recommendations.

Schedule an Appointment

The best way to ensure your child keeps their teeth healthy is by partnering with Sprout Kids Dentistry.
To get started, contact our Quincy, MA office by calling or filling out our online form.

Back to Blogs

Signs My Child May Have a Cavity

Did you know that cavities are common in children? About 42% of 2- to 11-year-olds have at least one cavity. Even preschoolers can get cavities! It’s important to recognize the common signs and symptoms of cavities in children so that you can take action, fast. Knowing what to look for is the best way to ensure your child’s oral health remains intact. This article will discuss some of the most common signs that your child has a cavity and how you can prevent them from happening in the first place.

Tooth Decay in Infants and Toddlers

Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is a common problem. Some of the most common signs that your child may have a cavity are:

  • White spots on the teeth: This is one of the earliest signs of tooth decay. If you see white spots on your child’s teeth, it’s important to take them to the dentist immediately.
  • Brown or black spots on the teeth: These spots are another early sign of tooth decay. If you see them on your child’s teeth, it’s important to take them to the dentist immediately.
  • Sensitivity to cold or hot drinks: If your child complains that their teeth hurt when they drink something cold or hot, they may have a cavity.
  • Pain when chewing: If your child experiences pain chewing, it could be a sign of a cavity.

Early Signs of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is extremely common in children. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in four children aged 2-5 years have at least one untreated decaying tooth.

The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. And if caught early, it can be treated before it causes serious damage. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the early signs of tooth decay so you can protect your child’s smile.

One of the earliest signs of tooth decay could be white spots on the teeth. These spots are areas where the enamel has begun to break down. If you notice white spots on your child’s teeth, schedule a visit with their dentist so they can determine whether or not these spots are indicative of tooth decay.

Another early sign of tooth decay is sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks. If your child complains that their teeth hurt when they eat or drink something hot or cold, this could be a sign that they have a cavity.

If you notice any early signs of tooth decay in your child, don’t wait to schedule a dental visit. The sooner you catch and treat cavities, the better!

How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children

Sealants, fluoride, and good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay in children. Sealants are a thin coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (the molars). They act as a barrier, preventing food and plaque that can cause cavities.

Fluoride strengthens teeth and helps prevent cavities. Children who drink fluoridated water have fewer cavities than those who do not. Fluoride is also available in mouth rinses, gels, and toothpaste.

Good oral hygiene includes brushing teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and eating a balanced diet.

When to See a Dentist About Your Child’s Cavities

If your child is complaining of tooth pain, has sensitive teeth, or is having trouble chewing, it may be time to see a dentist about a possible cavity. Additional signs that your child may have a cavity include white or brown spots on the teeth, and bad breath. If you
notice any of these signs, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to get your child’s teeth checked out.

Contact Us Today

To schedule an appointment at Sprout Kids Dentistry, contact our office today at 617-934-6339 or schedule an appointment online.

Back to Blogs