Is it a Cavity?

Is it a CavityIt’s summertime, and children are at especially high risk for developing cavities because of diets that are high in sugar (i.e. ice cream, popsicles) and because of less-than-perfect dental care habits (i.e. late nights, sleepovers). Also, due to the pandemic, many regular dental exams were postponed or cancelled, and if your child had any existing dental issues (including cavities) they may have worsened.
Has your child complained of pain while chewing? Sensitivity to certain foods? How do you know if your child may be developing a cavity in their tooth? Here are some of the most common signs your child may have a cavity:


Does your child complain of pain while chewing, particularly in a certain area of the mouth? Is it sudden or ongoing? Do they feel pain or pressure when they bite down on food? Pain is the most common symptom of a cavity.

White/Dark Spots

White spots or chalky areas on the teeth are an early sign of mineral loss. Check your child’s teeth regularly to ensure that they are free of these white spots. If you notice dark areas, this may be a sign of tooth decay in progress.

Tooth Sensitivity

Does your child experience pain or a tingling sensation when eating particularly hot or cold foods? Or maybe the tooth sensitivity only occurs when eating particularly sugary foods? This is another early sign of a cavity.

Holes, Cracks, Chips

Holes are an obvious sign of a cavity, which makes the tooth more brittle and prone to chipping and cracking. If you see a hole (even a tiny one), inspect around the tooth to see if there is any chipping or cracking.
The best way to know if your child has a cavity is to schedule an appointment with us. Our pediatric dentists are expert “cavity finders,” and will closely examine your child’s teeth, look for dark or soft spots, and take X-rays to locate those hard-to-find cavities that sometimes hide between the teeth.

If your child does have a cavity, we will provide treatment recommendations and help teach them ways to prevent cavities from happening in the future.

Call our office at (510) 521-KIDS if you think your child might have a cavity, or if it has been more than six months since their last dental checkup.

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