Tooth decay, especially in children, can turn into long-term oral health issues. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regards tooth decay in children as a widespread (though often ignored) epidemic. Consider the CDC’s sobering statistics regarding oral health problems and tooth decay in children:
- About 1 in 7 U.S. adolescents have at least one decayed tooth.
- Approximately 1 in 5 U.S. children (aged 5-11) show signs of tooth decay.
- For families without a non-fluoridated water supply, tooth decay in children is twice as likely as families with fluoridated water.
There is plenty of bad news regarding tooth decay in children. The good news? If you know how to detect signs of tooth decay, your entire family will enjoy better oral (and superior) overall health!
Signs & Symptoms of Early Stage Tooth Decay
What are the signs of tooth decay? If you’re interested in knowing how to prevent tooth decay, you have to know what to look for. These signs and symptoms include:
- Gums and teeth sensitive to hot or cold foods. When cavities start to form, they’re undetectable to the naked eye – but not for the teeth and gum nerve endings. Cavities start as small pits in the teeth, and as the enamel wears down, the interior nerves are subject to and react to certain foods and beverages.
- Bleeding gums. Gum disease often accompanies tooth decay. Bleeding gums are common with tooth decay in children. See your dentist if your child’s gums bleed for any reason.
- Discolored teeth. Small brown or black spots are often the sign of cavities.
- Foul breath. When too much bacteria builds up in the mouth, bad breath soon follows. And not long after that, tooth decay as well. Think of bad breath as an early warning sign of tooth decay.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
Want to prevent tooth decay in children? Follow these four simple guidelines:
- Brush at least twice per day. The Super Toothbrush® is a big help here, with a built-in song that lasts two minutes (the recommended brushing time for children).
- Mind the diet. Excessive sugar consumption is the main culprit for tooth decay in children. Incorporate more veggies into your child’s diet. Sure, that’s easier said than done, but with creative & healthy recipes and snack ideas, anything is possible.
- Rinse after meals. This simple suggestion eliminates bacteria and plaque buildup.
- Floss on a regular basis. Have your child floss at least once every day. This habit is critical for lifelong dental health.
Visit The Super Dentists – We’ll Help Prevent Tooth Decay in Children
If you detect early signs of tooth decay, schedule an appointment today at any of The Super Dentists six locations in San Diego. You can also call (855) GO SUPER or text us at (844) 765-1234. Thanks for visiting The Super Dentists, San Diego’s premier pediatric dentists!