Cavities in very young children have become extremely common. So it's good to realize you are not alone and your pediatric dentist likely deals with this scenario daily as many parents wonder the same question. When a young child has a small cavity, it can certainly be “contained” or you can delay the dental treatment, while larger cavities often can’t be.

It's often a good idea to let your dental professional make a custom plan for your child, but here are some things you may want to ask them about: 

  • Cut out any juice and snacking, cut down on the sugar consumption, specially the sticky carbohydrates (like goldfish crackers) and dried fruits (like raisins or gummy fruit snacks).
  • Take over your child’s oral hygiene routine (you brush and floss for them) and ensure the night time brushing and flossing is superb.
  • Switch your child to fluoridated water (tap water in most cities, or Nursery brand water.
  • Switch to fluoridated kid’s toothpaste (using about a grain of rice and up to a pea size depending on your child’s age between 6 months and 6 years of age)
  • After brushing at night, teach your child to spit out the extra toothpaste, but ask them not to rinse out with water, drink, or eat, allowing a coating of toothpaste to stay on their teeth when they go to bed.
  • Start your child on high quality oral health mineralization aiding products (for example CariFree or MI Paste).
  • Schedule your child to be seen for a professional fluoride varnish application to harden their enamel and have your dentist check on your child’s cavity sooner than their regular 6 month dental check up.
  • Have your pediatric dentist apply Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) on your child's tooth with the cavity.
  • Your pediatric dentist can also place a sealant over the cavity (if it’s still within the enamel layer).

J. Shahangian


Dr. J is a board certified pediatric dentist and owner of Scripps Pediatric Dentistry & Brush n Brace, pediatric dental offices located in San Diego, CA. He is not only a Diplomat with the board but now also has Fellow status with the AAPD. He is a proud father of 3 beautiful girls, a San Diego native, loves soccer and is passionate about pediatric oral health. His mission is battling the number 1 disease that he has seen take over our beloved children. #AskDrJ provides answers and solutions to parents questions & concerns regarding their children's oral health. Click here for a full list of articles from #AskDrJ 

At the end of the day, we want you, to make an informed decision whether you should delay treatment for your child’s cavity, by discussing different options with your pediatric dentist! When your pediatric dentist lets you know that your child has a cavity, you can ask for details about the extent of the decay, and if there are different options that your pediatric dentist can recommend for delaying treatment. For example: by monitoring the cavity, applying Silver Diamine Fluoride, or placing a sealant over your kids cavity.

To schedule an appointment call (858)693-5677 or set up a Virtual Consultation with Dr. J  

Have a question about your child’s oral health that you would like to submit to #AskDrJ, click here to submit your question to Dr J

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