child with toothache

How to Spot Cavities in Kids

Child tooth decay is a common problem in kids. This is because children are still honing their dietary and oral hygiene habits. Preventing these issues or catching them early on will result in more manageable and less invasive treatments. Plus, trips to the dentist won’t be as anxiety-inducing if kids are already proud of their dental hygiene!

Detecting tooth decay and issues can be hard for parents. It often doesn’t present itself until the decay reaches the inner pulp of the tooth, and small children usually can’t convey their discomfort like adults. However, there are some things to look out for in your child’s teeth to prevent issues from getting worse.

Signs of Tooth Decay in Kids

Look out for these signs and symptoms of child tooth decay:

  • White or dark spots on teeth
  • Pits of holes in teeth
  • Eating avoidance
  • Sensitivity when drinking hot or cold beverages
  • Lethargy
  • Fussiness
  • Mouth swelling
  • Holding the face or jaw

Treatment Options for Your Kid’s Cavities

Not fixing cavities in baby teeth can lead to baby root canals, crowns, infections, and pain. Your child’s dentist will find the right dental solution to get back to happy and healthy teeth.


The most common treatment option for cavities is dental fillings. Once the dentist has cleared out the decay, the leftover hole is filled in with composite resin. This filling stops the decay in its tracks.


For tooth decay that has reached the inner pulp of a tooth, a pulpotomy might be needed. This procedure involves removing a small portion of the inner pulp and placing packing material inside, then closing it with a filling. This is typically done for children.

Tooth Extraction

Of course, severe tooth decay can lead to complete extraction of the tooth, especially if it’s a baby tooth and there is no other treatment option available. However, this is usually the last resort for dentists because premature baby tooth extraction can lead to issues with chewing and eating.

Preventative Treatments

Your pediatric dentist can help prevent cavities in your child by applying sealants and fluoride to the teeth. These offer coverings to the teeth that strengthen and protect against decay.

As a parent, you can tell when something isn’t right with your child’s health. If you suspect a toothache or any other tooth decay symptoms, make an appointment with your child’s dentist right away.

Prevent tooth decay in children by seeing a dentist twice a year. Contact our office today to make your appointment!