Tooth decay (cavities or caries) is a progressive disease that often begins in very young children. Decay is a result of the interaction between bacteria that are normally on our teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. The bacteria use those sugars to produce acid. A tooth exposed to this acid will lose mineral, and that loss is the first step toward tooth decay. Your children’s dentist can remove the decay and use modern materials such as tooth-colored or silver fillings to restore the tooth to a healthy state. If tooth damage is very severe, there may be nerve damage and a stainless steel crown might be required. Your pediatric dentist is familiar with treatment techniques required by extensive tooth decay and can employ medications that control pain and alleviate your child’s apprehension about treatment.