Enamel Erosion in Toddlers: What to Look For

As the parent of a toddler, have you ever wished that your child's language skills developed more quickly? It's not as though you can expect deep conversations with a toddler, but it would be nice if they could take some of the guesswork away and actually tell you what was wrong. If your toddler begins to show signs of discomfort when eating or drinking, then you should schedule an appointment with your family dentist. They're the ones to take the guesswork away from this problem.

Enamel Erosion in Children

Even though you might do your utmost to keep your toddler's teeth clean, it can be difficult to entirely avoid the accumulation of plaque and tartar on their teeth. You might think of tooth decay as being visible—showing as discoloration or dark spots on the teeth. It's far less obvious in its early stages when it's limited to erosion of the dental enamel coating your child's teeth.

Dentin and Tubules

This enamel erosion may be what is triggering your child's discomfort when consuming certain foods and beverages. When enamel erosion is present, the dentin beneath it is exposed. This dentin contains numerous tubules, which are tiny canals that work their way into the tooth's pulp chamber, where the nerve (the pulp itself) is found. Food and drink that is particularly hot or cold can irritate the nerve via these tubules. 

A Professional Dental Cleaning

Your family dentist will check for signs of enamel erosion. Depending on their age, it might not have happened yet, and so it might be time for your toddler's first professional dental cleaning. This will remove any accumulated plaque or tartar that you weren't able to remove. This goes a long way to improving the situation, but that enamel erosion must be addressed.

Remineralization and Extra Protection

In order to protect the affected teeth, your dentist may apply a fluoride varnish. This can help to stop further erosion by remineralizing your child's teeth. A dental sealant may also be recommended for rear molars, and this is a thin coat of resin applied to the flat biting surfaces of these teeth, offering an extra level of protection.

So if your toddler experiences discomfort when eating or drinking, it's time for a visit to the dentist to check for enamel erosion. Enamel erosion is easily treatable, which isn't the case if it's allowed to develop to a level where the tooth's structure begins to deteriorate.