· 1. The first sign of tooth decay is a white spot “lesion” on the enamel surface of the front teeth. These are white, chalky areas, close to the gum line. These decalcifications are caused by bacterial acid, and directly precede irreversible loss of tooth structure (a cavity).
· 2. By “lifting-the-lip” parents will be able to see this early indicator of caries disease.
· 3. Parents should get these areas examined by a dentist as soon as possible, so that treatment can be initiated, if necessary. The white spot lesions can be “reversed” (remineralized) by the application of fluoride – if the problem is recognized early enough.
· 4. Active cavities usually have a golden-brown color.