Caries in children – cause for concern?

Caries in children

Synonyms in the broadest sense

tooth decay, toothache, bad teeth in children

English: caries


Caries means the destruction of the Tooth structure through external influences. There are areas of teeth that are particularly often affected by caries. Caries is caused by bacteria. They form acids, which the tooth attack.


Caries is a problem that occurs in almost every age. In principle, children’s teeth should not be affected by caries. With a healthy and balanced diet right from the start tooth decay only in very rare cases. An unhealthy diet in children, especially with lots of sweets, favors the development of tooth decay.

Caries is caused by bacteria caused. These bacteria are in the plaque. The bacteria decompose the sugar and its products into acid. These acids demineralize the hard tooth substance, including the enamel, and trigger tooth decay. Not only the dental plaque has a positive effect on the development of caries, but also a correspondingly long exposure time of the acids plays a decisive role. Regular brushing of teeth should therefore be part of daily oral hygiene. The composition and pH of saliva are also important: the lower the pH, the more harmful saliva is to the tooth structure.

Course of caries

Depending on where the caries finds its point of attack, it may take a longer or shorter period of time to attack the tooth. The enamel is the outermost layer around the tooth. Once attacked and destroyed, it cannot grow back. It can be faster Tooth on the tooth neck – if these are not covered by gums, i.e. are exposed – be attacked directly on the cement.
At first, complaints are usually rare, because you can only see the tooth areas affected by caries.
Pain is more of a late symptom.
The dentist discovers dark spots. If these cannot be removed, i.e. scratching them away, that’s the one Diagnosis dental caries to consider. Forms of caries that are not visible from the outside are particularly dangerous. Most of these, however, affect adults. The caries is inside the tooth and can only be removed by means of X-ray photograph to make visible. However, since X-rays should be avoided in children, the diagnosis is difficult. In special children’s dental practices, the equipment is so modern that there are radiation-reduced X-ray machines especially for children. As mentioned above, children’s teeth are usually not affected. To develop tooth decay within the tooth, one takes into account the high fluorine content of today’s toothpastes.


The diagnosis of caries is made by the dentist posed. It detects dark areas on the teeth. There are areas here that are particularly often affected by caries. Exposed tooth necks are not only sensitive to pain, but also prone to caries. The occlusal surfaces or interdental spaces are most at risk of falling from caries.

Caries of the deciduous teeth

A poor oral hygiene combined with improper nutrition quickly leads to the black spots on your teeth. Just that front teeth are often affected by this. This is called ECC (Early Childhood Caries) or "Nursing Bottle Syndrome" (Baby bottles caries). It arises when children drink heavily sugary drinks from a drinking bottle early and for a longer period of time. The front teeth can be severely destroyed by the long exposure time.

As Therapy can often a smaller one filling come into question, but in the case of severe destruction there are also Prefabricated children’s crowns made of steel. In individual cases, the dentist must decide whether and how the carious teeth can be restored. If there are already many carious spots in the milk dentition, the risk of bad teeth is also increased later. Therefore, parents are obliged to practice good oral hygiene with the children every day. This is the only way for children to learn how to keep their teeth healthy for a long time.

Detection of caries in milk teeth

The teeth and teeth of the child differ from the teeth of the adult in terms of color and shape, but the caries looks very similar here. First signs put the typical black spots on the teeth You can see this by looking closely at the teeth. These are initially small, later larger black areas. Over time, the enamel begins to soften and pain occurs when eating.

The dentist can
estimate the size with the help of a mirror and a probe or an x-ray and initiate adequate therapy. This can be found under local anesthesia, in very restless and anxious children, but also under general anesthesia. Caries should not be confused with discoloration. These are brownish spots on the tooth enamel, which are caused by various foods. Even if you cannot remove them with your own toothbrush at home, your teeth will be bright white again after a professional tooth cleaning at the dentist.

What can you do with caries in children?

Even in childhood and on milk teeth Caries removed and the resulting cavity treated. However, the dentist can only initiate the correct therapy after a precise clarification. If the tooth is worth preserving, the dentist starts removing (drilling out) the caries. Subsequently, the tooth can then be filling or a steel crown. But as with adults, the size of the caries is clearly important. In addition, the importance of preservation, the age of the child and the permanent tooth also play a major role in children.

If the tooth cannot remain in the mouth, it must be pulled so as not to damage the subsequent tooth. Often, then no children will space maintainers manufactured. This is a brace, which should take the place of the pulled tooth so that the adjacent teeth do not migrate into the gap. This leaves enough space for the following tooth to break through in accordance with the standard. It must therefore also be worn until the successor has broken through. Only the dentist can decide on the exact therapy based on a medical history and diagnosis. In order not to damage the later teeth, a dentist should definitely be visited in childhood caries.

Test caries

They suffer Caries? And how can this be treated? Test yourself online.
Answer to this 12 short questions.
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The caries infestation of the baby teeth is still relatively high despite the increasing number of checkups.
The therapy consists of dental treatment. The carious area has to be removed to prevent further spreading – also from tooth to tooth. So there is no escape from “drilling”.

Can you still cure tooth decay in children??

Caries is an infectious disease that is transmitted through a droplet infection. This can happen, for example, by kissing while cuddling. Carious spots can be removed and then filled with a filling. Afterwards, however, proper oral hygiene must be ensured to prevent the caries from returning. Such spots can recur for a lifetime. A correct "healing" of caries, in the sense that it never returns after removal, is therefore not possible.


As parents, avoid increasing your child’s sugar intake. To ensure this, one should know the different types of sugar and where they can be hidden anywhere,

There are several different types of sugar:

  1. Fructose
  2. Dextrose (glucose)
  3. Milk sugar (maltose)

The easiest way is bacteria glucose and fructose metabolize. Sugar is one of the carbohydrates. No living being can do without carbohydrates exist. They are the main energy suppliers. Above all, our cells can gain rapid energy from this. The bacteria in the oral cavity also need carbohydrates. The waste product are acids that attack the teeth. Bacteria cannot digest sugar substitutes such as xylitol and thus hardly contribute to the development of caries.

Hidden sugar can be found in ketchup, lemonades, fruit juices or canned vegetables, for example. Of course there are differences here. The sugar in the fruit juice is far from being as highly concentrated as that in the lemonade. Fructose is less harmful than ordinary industrial sugar. However, it should not be drunk too often and only very diluted (e.g. water: juice in a ratio of 2: 1). Do not let your children drink the juice or juice from the bottle. There is an increased risk of caries here.

Milk teeth can be “sealed” by the dentist. Here comes a kind of protective layer made of plastic resin over the tooth surface. This is absolutely painless. The dentist only needs to clean and dry the teeth thoroughly. Sealing primarily serves to preserve the permanent teeth. The first permanent molars for example, grow between the ages of five and seven. A seal lasts about four years on average. Seals are harmless to health. Allergies rarely occur.

Of course, the teeth must be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis. Fluorine is recommended by dentists toothpaste, which harden the teeth. Teeth should also be brushed in small children. Even in early childhood it is important to ensure that the toothbrush is not too hard to protect the gums, which is protective around the tooth necks and gives the entire tooth a hold. Opinions differ as to the type of bristles. But in general it can be said that a normal toothbrush with straight bristles definitely serves its purpose!

Children should go to the dentist for a check-up twice a year.


If a tooth is affected by caries, the dentist can of course try to remove the defect, i.e. drill it. However, tooth decay is not reversible or curable. It is important to prevent it in any case.
Even if the carious part of the tooth has been removed and, for example, provided with a crown, it may well happen that the caries forms again.

More information

  • Caries symptoms
  • Caries causes
  • caries treatment
  • Remove tooth decay
  • Heal tooth decay
  • How does caries develop?

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Christina Cherry
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