While you may think that baby teeth don't need as much care as adult teeth, baby teeth are actually more susceptible to cavities than adult teeth. The enamel is weaker, and more likely to suffer from tooth decay due to not brushing and flossing properly. Here are a few things you need to know about kids and tooth decay.
Kids Can't Communicate Symptoms Well
One of the problems with children and tooth decay is that they do not know that there is a problem because they don't know the signs, or honestly don't feel anything when a cavity is in its early stages. As a parent, you may not notice the signs until it reaches the extreme points where action must be taken.
For example, a child with a cavity may find themselves not wanting to eat because their mouth hurts. They could have gums that are swelling because of an infection. Children may try to touch the tooth that is causing them problems more, so their hands always seem to be in their mouth exploring what could be wrong. Don't always assume that you need to see that physical hole in their tooth either. Cavities can cause a tooth to become darker in color compared to the surrounding teeth.
Behaviors Can Cause More Cavities Than Normal
While thin enamel on baby teeth can cause cavities, it is also their behavior that tends to cause the cavities to form. The truth is that kids simply do not brush their teeth as well as adults. They may not be getting the brush to overlap with the gum line, be flossing properly, and be brushing for two minutes a day. The need to be independent may also cause a child to not want help from their parents to perform this task twice a day either. In addition, consuming sugary foods can also lead to plaque to collect on their teeth during the day.
Baby Teeth Can Impact Adult Teeth
Don't assume that a baby tooth with cavities is nothing to be worried about. Some kids have their baby teeth up until they become a teenager, and they could have a baby tooth with decay that spreads to an adult tooth. If a baby tooth has to be pulled, it can impact how those adult teeth grow around it. It's better to be safe than sorry and make sure that even baby teeth are cared for.
Cavities do not recover, they only get worse over time. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your child's teeth cleaned and inspected.