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Children’s Dentistry: The Start of Cavities

Image of many young children with the start of cavities. Our dentist at Lincoln Family Dentist in Lincoln, NE has answers.

Can babies get cavities?


You might wonder if it’s possible for your baby to get cavities. The short answer is, YES! Believe it or not, babies are susceptible to cavities just like adults. Helping your child maintain good oral health is essential to helping them maintain good overall health. At Lincoln Family Dentistry, we believe education is important, and it all starts here. In our article we’ll cover:

-Is it normal for children to have cavities? Here our Lincoln, NE dentist will explain the start of cavities and how you can help!

-Will the white spots on my child’s teeth go away? It might, yes! Our gentle, caring dentist explains.


It is very easy to get cavities even as a baby. The enamel on baby teeth is very thin, and does not offer as much protection. The good news is there are safe and effective preventive measures that can protect baby teeth. Good oral hygiene practices such as thorough brushing with fluoride toothpaste can help prevent cavities in children. In addition, dental sealants, fluoride treatments, and community water fluoridation are two other strategies that can help prevent cavities in baby teeth.

How do cavities in children develop? Are there any cavity symptoms?

When a tooth is exposed to acid frequently — for example, if you eat or drink often, especially foods or drinks containing sugar and starches — the repeated cycles of acid attacks cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals on a baby tooth. A white spot may appear where minerals have been lost. This is a sign of early decay, the beginning of a cavity in a child. With this, it is always good to finish a meal with water (rinses the surface of teeth).

Does a white spot on your child’s teeth mean a cavity? Is this the start of cavities?

If you see a white spot on your child’s tooth, don’t panic! Tooth decay in baby teeth can be stopped or reversed at this point. Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva, and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources. If children can stop the progression of the cavity by decreasing the amount of time the teeth are exposed to acid then the cavity in the baby tooth may never progress to the point of needing a filling.

But if the tooth decay process continues, more minerals are lost. Over time, the enamel is weakened and destroyed, forming a cavity. A cavity is permanent damage that a dentist has to repair with a filling. Cavities in baby teeth still can be detrimental to children.

I’m still not sure what baby teeth do…

Baby teeth act like a reservation for a spot for a permanent tooth to come in. If cavities in children progress to the point where the tooth is lost , the space for the permanent tooth can be diminished. If you have questions or would like guidance, it’s always a good idea to see a professional. At Lincoln Family Dentistry, we offer dental services for the entire family, if you are questioning the start of cavities in your child, we’d be more than happy to help!


The information on this page was written by Dr. Kelly O’Hara.

This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “I perform gentle dentistry for the entire family and focus on children’s dentistry, extreme smile makeovers, cosmetic dentistry and placing mercury-free dental fillings. Moreover, I also want to provide a better quality of life to patients who have lost their teeth by making implant retained dentures. I have many goals, but one that is very important to many of us: to keep dentistry affordable by taking all of the primary dental plans and by also offering dental payment plans to patients that seek them. I am fully committed to making sure all patients feel comfortable while in my care.”

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or his partners, online 24/7 at a Lincoln Family Dentistry Location near you. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Lincoln. Some of the communities include Eagle, Walton, Weeping Water, Avoca, and many more!


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