How to Tell If Your Toddler’s Teeth Are Healthy

How to Tell If Your Toddler’s Teeth Are Healthy | Junior Smiles of Stafford

As a parent, it’s essential to tell if your toddler’s teeth are healthy. Here are a few tips! Keep an eye out for early signs of tooth decay, such as tooth discoloration or excessive saliva. One in seven children between the ages of 3 and 5 suffers from tooth decay, making it the most common childhood ailment. Untreated tooth decay in a child’s baby teeth, as well as their long-term dental health, can be disastrous. Ensure your toddler is brushing their teeth regularly (twice per day is ideal) and ask your pediatric dentist for regular dental checkups every six months.

Take care of your child’s baby teeth and overall dental health to prevent dental cavities.

Child With Tooth Decay

The disintegration or breakdown of tooth enamel is referred to as dental caries (sometimes called tooth decay). The outer layer of a tooth is known as enamel. Cavities can result from tooth decay (caries). The teeth have holes. Bacteria and other factors are to blame for tooth decay. Carbohydrate-rich foods (sugars and starches) left on the teeth can cause this. Milk, soda, raisins, candies, cake, fruit juices, cereals, and bread are examples of this type of food. The bacteria in the mouth convert these meals into acids by altering their chemical structure. As a result, plaque forms on the teeth due to a complex reaction between bacteria, food, acid, and saliva. Bacteria produce acids that erode tooth enamel over time, leading to an increased risk for cavities.

Children That Are More At Risk For Tooth Decay

Bacteria are found in the mouths of all children; thus, children of any age are at risk for tooth decay and might suffer from tooth decay. However, the following could increase your child’s risk:

  • Less saliva flow
  • Poor oral health care routine
  • Too much starch and sugar intake
  • Limited or no fluoride content in the water supply
  • Cavity-causing bacteria at high concentrations

Tooth Decay Causes

Infection with acid-producing bacteria can lead to tooth decay in a baby. Saliva can spread bacteria from caregivers and parents to infants. Sharing saliva on spoons or cups, testing foods before giving them to babies, and wiping off a pacifier in the mouth of a parent or caregiver are just a few examples of how bacteria can be passed along. If you’re seeking the main culprit of toddler tooth decay, go no further than your child’s nutrition.

Bottle Feeding

Putting your baby to bed with a bottle might lead to a disease known as “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.” Bacteria thrive in the sweet formula parents leave in their children’s mouths overnight. You can reduce this risk by introducing sippy cups around your child’s first birthday and weaning him or her off of the bottle as soon as possible.


A number of foods contain carbohydrates that can combine with saliva and mouth bacteria to form acids. Because these acids deplete calcium, they create an exposed environment for cavities to form on the teeth. Limiting your child’s sugar intake is easier if you let them eat healthful snacks and drink water instead of juice.

Signs of Tooth Decay

The first symptoms of tooth decay on the upper front teeth may be white spots around the gum line. Even for a child’s doctor or dentist, these spots are difficult to see without the correct equipment at first. An early diagnosis and dental treatment of a child’s decayed teeth are essential if the condition is to be reversed.

  • Symptoms of an early cavity can be seen on the tooth’s surface. It appears to be a light brown shade.
  • White spots begin to appear on the teeth in the places that have been damaged. When you see these spots, your teeth are showing signs of decaying enamel. They may cause teeth to become sensitive.

Tooth decay and cavities can cause a variety of symptoms in different children. Holes aren’t always accompanied by pain or other visible signs of their presence. When a child’s dentist discovers one, they may not even be aware that they have one.

Treating Toddler Tooth Decay

Your child’s symptoms, age, and overall health will all play a role in the treatment plan. In addition, the severity of the condition must be taken into consideration. In most situations, the decayed portion of the tooth must be removed, and a filling must be placed in its place. When teeth are damaged by dental decay, fillers are utilized to restore the structure of the teeth. Restorations are another term for these procedures. Fillings come in several varieties:

  • Direct Restorations
  • Indirect Restorations

Tooth Decay Prevention

Cavities form when food and bacteria aren’t removed from the teeth after eating. When acid builds up on a tooth’s enamel, it weakens it and eventually results in a cavity.

Keep the cavities off your teeth with these tips:

  • Some foods should be consumed in moderation or not at all. Especially sticky candies, gummy vitamins, and fruit leather or “roll-up” candies can erode tooth enamel and lead to nasty cavities in children. If your children consume these sugary foods, encourage them to clean their teeth or rinse their mouths to remove the sugar. Children should always rinse or clean their teeth after finishing sweetened liquid medications.
  • Fluoride is a must. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making it more difficult for acid to get into the tooth. While fluoridation of drinking water is mandated in many places, it isn’t in all of them. Consider taking fluoride supplements if you don’t have fluoride in your water or if your family consumes filtered water. Fluoride is found in most toothpaste, but it is not enough to safeguard a child’s teeth. Fluoride can cause tooth discoloration if taken in excess. Before using any supplements, consult with your dentist.
  • Good dental care routines should be instilled in children from an early age. Teach your children the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth at least twice a day.

Read more: Receding Gums in Children: Causes and Treatment

Contact Junior Smiles of Stafford to keep your toddler’s teeth healthy

If you want to ensure that your toddler’s teeth stay healthy and cavity-free, be sure to schedule regular checkups with a reputable pediatric dentist like Junior Smiles of Stafford. We offer comprehensive dental care for toddlers and children, starting with preventative services like dental sealants and fluoride treatments and moving on to more complex procedures like root canals and braces. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Why Choose Junior Smiles of Stafford?

Our Stafford, VA team is well-versed in working with clients of various ages and backgrounds. They’ll take the time to get to know you and your family’s requirements, and they’ll work with you to design a treatment plan that suits your schedule. Sealants and fluoride treatments are just two of the many preventative care options we provide to keep your mouth healthy.

About Us

Visiting Junior Smiles of Stafford means you’re in good hands when it comes to receiving high-quality care. Your child’s dental health improves with each visit, ensuring a brighter smile for years to come. We adhere to the ADA and AAPD’s guidelines for best practices. 

Where Are We Located?

963 Garrisonville Rd #103

Stafford, VA 22556

Phone: (540) 699-2441

Fax: (540) 699-2464


Monday and Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Wednesdays and Thursdays: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Fridays and Saturdays: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (By appointment only)

How to Book Your Kids First Appointment at Junior Smiles of Stafford

Fill out the form on our website. Within 24 hours, a member of our team will get back to you.