Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among kids and teenagers, according to the Centers for Disease Control. So although you might associate the term "early tooth decay" with cavities or decay in young people, the term actually refers to a stage of tooth decay – for all age groups. Nevertheless, early decay is damage to the tooth's enamel, according to the Dental Practice-Based Research Network, and it can occur with children.
The good news is that in these early stages, tooth decay is not only treatable, but it's also reversible. The trick is knowing what to look for and what to do if you see any signs of early decay.