Tooth Decay in Toddlers | 6 Tips For Treatment and Prevention

According to a recent dental report, nearly 28 percent of toddlers ages 2 to 5 have experienced some form of tooth decay. In fact, tooth decay has become the most common illness in children in the United States.

What is toddler tooth decay and what are some ways in which parents can help prevent it?

What Is Toddler Tooth Decay?

When you toddler’s first tooth begins to develop around six months old, he or she should develop healthy brushing and oral care habits.

Here are several causes of tooth decay in toddlers:

  • Sharing saliva on spoons or cups
  • Testing foods before feeding
  • Cleaning off a pacifier with your mouth
  • Gums exposed to liquid or food other than water
  • Added sugars
  • Drinking milk throughout the day without food 

The biggest cause of tooth decay, or childhood cavities, is known as “baby bottle tooth decay.” This occurs when children fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled with milk or juice.

Preventing Child Tooth Decay

There are several ways to prevent toddler tooth decay, even before their first dental visit.

Here are some basic habits to incorporate into your toddler’s daily oral health routine:

  1. Brush and floss daily
  2. Avoid sugary foods and drinks
  3. Take care of your own oral health
  4. Never put a child to bed with a bottle or food
  5. Try to avoid sippy cups
  6. Teach your toddler to drink from regular cups at one year old

Tooth decay in toddlers should be treated as it would for adults. If your child’s primary teeth decay, it could infect the gums and prevent his or her permanent teeth from growing. In severe cases of decay, tooth extraction is necessary.

Consult your family doctor or an emergency clinic if pain persists.

Fight Tooth Decay in Toddlers at Kool Smiles

At Kool Smiles, our professional, family-friendly staff works hard to ensure your child receives quality dental care. Proudly serving across over 120 locations across the U.S., it is our passion to make dental care available to every child in need.

We accept most forms of insurance including Medicaid, TRICARE, and SCHIP as well as other payment plans based on your budget. Expect quality, convenience, and care at every Kool Smiles location.

Don’t let tooth decay get the best of your toddler. Call us or find a location near you to schedule an appointment today.



National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: