By about 7 or 8, you’ve most likely stopped brushing your child’s teeth for them, so you can’t instantly tell if your child has tooth decay or a cavity. So how can you tell if a cavity is developing? You definitely don’t want to wait until your child comes to you in serious pain with a far more serious problem than tooth decay initially is. Without constantly prying into your child’s mouth, how can you tell if they have early signs of tooth decay?
Moderate to Bad Breath
Your first instinct may be to tell your child to go brush their teeth or rinse out their mouths with a mouthwash. However, if bad breath is constant or even severe, it’s a sign of something far worse than lunch leftovers.
If your child complains that eating on one side of their mouths hurts or they suddenly develop a sensitivity to hot and cold food and drink, it could be a sign of tooth decay.
Headaches or Jaw Aches
A headache can easily be written off as potentially something else, and a dull ache in the jaw could be a sign of TMJ. If either seems more painful than a typical headache, it’s time to investigate.
A constant metallic or unpleasant taste in the mouth
If your child complains that something in their mouths always tastes bad, even after brushing their teeth, it’s a possible symptom of tooth decay.
If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, you need to get him or her to your dentist as soon as possible, especially if your child has more than one sign. Most often, when tooth decay symptoms pop up, the decay has progressed to the point where treatment is needed immediately. The sooner your child is treated, the better chances your dentist will have in making sure the decay stays minor and doesn’t develop to anything far more serious, including potential tooth loss.