toddler cavities

Toddler Cavities: What To Do When Your Child Has a Cavity

Your child’s baby teeth won’t last forever, but they’re still important. Unfortunately, cavities can form even in the toddler years. The more you know about cavities in kids, the better you can address and prevent them.

What Causes Cavities in Baby Teeth?

You’ve probably heard that giving your kids sugary foods will cause them to develop cavities. That may be part of it, but it doesn’t tell the full picture.

In addition to sugar, toddler cavities may be associated with:
  • Not brushing a child’s teeth often enough
  • Allowing bottle use past 12 or 15 months, especially in bed
  • Feeding a diet low in minerals
  • Sharing food or drinks with your child, which can pass bacteria from your mouth to theirs

What Are the Symptoms?

Discoloration

The color changes in decaying teeth are subtle at first. Initially, enamel damage begins as white spots on the teeth.

Once a cavity starts to form, a light brown patch may appear. Over time, the discoloration will get darker and darker. Depending on the cavity's stage, it may be medium brown, dark brown or black.

Pain

Decaying teeth hurt. Your child may tell you that they’re in pain, but not all toddlers have the language skills to do that. Instead, your little one might whine and cry. Some kids pull on their ears in an attempt to relieve mouth pain too.

Food refusal is another common response to a hurting mouth. Your child may be reluctant to eat anything at all or may avoid particular foods. If that goes on long enough, you may notice a drop in weight.

Sensitivity

Cavities make it hard to enjoy hot or cold foods. A decaying tooth may react instantly to certain temperatures.

Your toddler might not know how to express that to you. Instead, be on the lookout for unpleasant reactions to cold popsicles or hot soup.

Toddler Cavity Treatment

The best way to keep on top of your child’s oral health is to visit the dentist. Even babies and toddlers need regular checkups. Every six months, you should return to the dentist for another exam.

It can be hard for parents to identify the early signs of tooth decay, but dentists are pros. They can give you a heads up before a full-blown cavity sets in. That way, with brushing and diet, you can reverse the damage before things get worse.

If it’s too late and a baby-tooth cavity has already set in, the dentist may recommend keeping an eye on it for a while or doing a filling right away.  There are other options of course to reverse a cavity, but it will have to be following an strict protocol using a mineral rich diet, cod liver oil and other supplements.

How to Prevent Cavities in Toddlers

toddler cavities


Hopefully, though, your preventive care will keep that from ever being a concern. In addition to taking your toddler to the dentist from a young age, you should:

  • Pick the right foods: For healthy teeth, limit sugary snacks and refined carbohydrates. Give foods that contain the minerals needed for strong teeth: bone broth, green vegetables, yogurt and pastured eggs.
  • Keep your germs to yourself: Don’t share drinks or utensils with your little one.
  • Brush regularly: At least twice a day, brush your child’s teeth for two minutes. Toddlers don’t have the motor skills to do this effectively, so you’ll need to do it for them.
  • Set an example: Kids imitate the adults around them. Make sure yours see you brushing and flossing every day.

In addition to this tips, using fluoride free natural oral care products is essential for a healthy body and a healthy mouth.  We have a wonderful Kids toothpaste that has just the best ingredients for little ones, no harmful chemicals or additives.  

Juliana Mejía Zuliani

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