How Common Is Dental Decay In Children?

Dental medicine and healthcare - human patient open mouth showing caries teeth decay
Dental medicine and healthcare - human patient open mouth showing caries teeth decay

Tooth decay in children occurs when the enamel of the tooth gets destroyed by a buildup of plaque and tartar.  

When debris from starchy and sugary food remains on the teeth, harmful bacteria feed on them. The result is a sticky film known as plaque. Plaque contains acids that causes cavities by wearing down the enamel. 

How common is dental decay in children?

Dental decay is common in children with poor oral hygiene habits. Children can develop tooth decay at any age.  

Tooth enamel is a very hard substance, but it isn't resistant to wear. Underneath the enamel is a more vulnerable layer called the dentin. When the enamel breaks down, more dentin shows up. Dentin is softer, which causes it to erode faster. The natural yellow shade of dentin can make your child's teeth appear darker.

Children may become more prone to developing dental decay if:

It's crucial to monitor your child's teeth against decay. Since baby teeth serve as a guide for permanent teeth, it's crucial to monitor your child's teeth against decay. The premature loss of baby teeth can have adverse effects on permanent teeth. 

How to spot tooth decay in children

What to look for: 

Symptoms of tooth decay can vary for each child. Your dentist can determine whether your child has tooth decay. They look at your child's complete oral and general health history, evaluate your child's mouth, and may also take dental x-rays. 

It's important to diagnose cavities early. If decay isn't diagnosed until it's far progressed your child may require complex dental treatments. 

It helps to inspect your child's mouth regularly and let your dentist know if you notice anything unusual. 

When should I take my child to see the dentist?

Tooth decay and cavities in children are preventable. You can keep your child's teeth healthy with good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits.

You can start taking your child to the dentist by the age of 1 or as soon as their baby teeth erupt. But you and your child are welcome to schedule a dental checkup anytime. 

It's never too late to start caring for your child's smile. Tooth decay is common, but we can help your child prevent it.