Signs My Child May Have a Cavity

Cavity tooth pain Hudsonville MI pediatric dentist


There’s enough to keep track of on a daily basis with kids. Making healthy meals, getting them to school, and tucking them in at a reasonable hour. Unless obvious, cavities can go under the radar. Our Hudsonville pediatric dentist can help you spot the warning signs of a cavity and come to the rescue with tooth repair.

Here are a few telltale signs of cavities in children and how you can avoid them altogether.

Common Causes of Cavities in Baby Teeth

No parent wants to see their child develop a cavity because that translates into a filling or possibly even a pediatric dental crown. Unfortunately, cavities can happen and not all show themselves in the same way.

Our pediatric dentist recommends regular cleanings and at-home oral care to fight off harmful bacteria on baby teeth. If you’re interested in additional protection beyond what using a toothbrush can provide, ask us about having dental sealants applied on your child’s back molars.

For many children, cavities can develop because of:

  • A diet high in sugars and starches (i.e., milk, fruit juice, bread, sugary foods etc.)
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Going to sleep with bottles – leads to high risk of “baby bottle tooth decay
  • Little exposure to fluoride

Your Child May Need Cavity Treatment If:

1) Their Tooth Shows Some Form of Discoloration

Tooth decay typically progresses from white spots on teeth to a darker shade of brown or black if not treated. Not every patient experiences this, however, which is why brushing, flossing, and checkups every 6 months are so important.

If you notice a white spot on one of your child’s teeth, this means the enamel is beginning to break down. It’s common for sensitivity to result because of this early decay. Once the tooth has a light brown color, you’ve got an early cavity and as it grows deeper, the color darkens.

2) They Are Irritable or Cranky

When they’re really young, children aren’t always the best at communicating what they’re feeling. Where you have the language to express that your tooth hurts or is sensitive, they may not. Instead, they act cranky, cry, and are short-tempered.

Helping your child work through what they’re experiencing is key here. Try to ask easy questions and locate the source of the discomfort as best you can. Even better, bring them into our Hudsonville pediatric dental office and we’ll take a closer look.

3) They’re Experiencing Tooth Pain or Sensitivity

Has your little one been eating their food a certain way to avoid a painful tooth? New eating habits or behaviors can sometimes indicate something’s up with their mouth. Again, it might be difficult for them to articulate how they feel but even if they can’t explain why something hurts, they can usually still tell you about pain in simple terms.

Ways You Can Help Prevent Cavities

You can practice cavity prevention at home with your children by encouraging them to brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily. Be sure to help them if they are too young and use an appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste based on their age.

Aside from oral hygiene, limit your child’s intake of sugary foods and make sure they’re eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. Sweets are fine as treats and in moderation but you don’t want to overdo it in combination with inadequate oral care.

Make an Appointment Today

If you suspect your child may have a cavity, our pediatric dentist in Hudsonville, MI, urges you to seek treatment before the decay worsens. We can place a tooth-colored filling if necessary or a crown depending on the condition of the tooth. Call Hudsonville Dental Kids at (616) 209-4039 today to schedule an appointment.