How To See Early Signs of Pediatric Tooth Decay

White Spot Lesions

Children’s health is a vitally important part of everyone’s lives, and instilling good habits in children now can help prevent them from experiencing hardships in the future. When it comes to their dental health, it means paying attention to the early warning signs of tooth decay and treating it right away. But what is pediatric tooth decay? How can it be treated? Visiting your family dentist is the first step towards addressing these issues, as they can work with you to help you gain valuable insight about your treatment options and ways to prevent it from occurring. 

The Signs and Symptoms of Early Pediatric Tooth Decay

For children, learning to take care of their teeth is an essential life skill – it teaches children responsibility, emphasizes the importance of oral health, and acts as one of the best preventative measures you can give to your child. But many outside factors can impact their teeth’s lifespan, including their exposure to sugars and acidic foods, lack of flossing, and even their genetics. But don’t worry – through the help of your dentist, you can care for your child’s teeth with proper care, reinforcement, and excellent treatment options at your side. 

So, what does tooth decay look like in children? Pediatric tooth decay can be subtle to notice at first, but here are some of the tell-tale signs of pediatric tooth decay you should look out for: 

  • White Spot Lesions: White spot lesions are the first symptom to pay attention to regarding children’s cavities. These areas look like brighter, discolored areas of enamel on the surface of your child’s teeth and are usually known as the early warning sign of enamel erosion caused by decay. 
  • Light Brown Spots: After white spots, light brown spots will develop in the area, and cavities form during this period. As a mild form of decay, symptoms of pain or sensitivity may not appear yet as the cavity is still developing. 
  • Blacker Areas of Decay: When the area begins to appear black, then a full cavity has formed. These cavities will cause pain in the area and even increase sensitivity to hot or cold foods. 

When cavities develop, it’s important for parents to schedule a visit with their dentist right away for treatment. In these cases, your dentists will be able to treat the area by cleaning out the cavity area and filling in the cavity with a dental filling. When dental filling cannot be applied, other options, such as pediatric crowns, can be used to protect the tooth from further decay, and when the decay is severe enough, tooth extractions may be necessary. 

How Dentists Work To Prevent Children’s Cavities

Among the various treatment options, your dentist will most often have preventative treatments, such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants, and offer supplements to protect your children’s teeth from further decay. If you would like to learn more about how dentists can work to protect your child’s health, then make sure to consult your local dentist for more information. 


Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Torrance Dental Associates is proud to be the home of Dr. Alireza Movassaghi, a USC School of Dentistry Graduate with 30 years of experience. His mission is to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. When not engaged in providing expert dental care for his patients, he's taking in the latest soccer game and enjoying fine cars.
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