I need some advice. I have a three year old that has a dark spot on a back tooth. I can’t quite tell if it is a cavity. I do brush his teeth every night. I’m worried if I take him in they’ll want to do x-rays and I don’t know if he is too young to have radiation. Can you tell me what is the best course of action?
I can tell you are a caring mother and I am glad you are diligent to brush his teeth every day. I recommend increasing that to twice a day as well as flossing once a day. There are flossers with handles that make it easier to get in those tiny mouths. I am especially impressed that you caught something on a back tooth. It is hard to see back there!
To ease your fears, three years old is not too young for dental x-rays. This is especially true these days because most dentists use digital x-rays which hardly has any more radiation in it than you are exposed to naturally. In fact, at his age, he is due for his first check up anyway. Most pediatric dentists prefer to see children early, even as young as one year old. This way their first experiences with the dentist are fun and not an urgent emergency appointment where they may need a filling.
With it being a back tooth, it could be decay or it could also be food or other bacteria trapped there. Those back teeth have lost of pits and grooves. It will be important after his cleaning that you get those back teeth sealed. This is a simple procedure that just paints on a sealant protecting all those crevices that tend to develop cavities.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. John Weaver.