Childhood is a formative time for teeth. Teaching kids healthy dental habits while they’re young sets them up for a lifetime of good checkups. But those habits aren’t just important for the future. Growing baby teeth need the same care as permanent teeth when it comes to decay and cavities.
Baby Teeth Are Real Teeth Too
It can be easy to assume that, since kids will lose their baby teeth, there’s no need to repair cavities until their grown up teeth come in. Why fix it if it’s just going to fall out on its own? But your child’s health and well-being are affected by cavities at this stage too. On top of that, baby teeth serve an important purpose for growing children, and decay can disrupt that purpose.
Here are a few reasons you want to take those baby cavities seriously, and have them treated by your dentist immediately.
Advanced Decay Causes Pain
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that produce corrosive acids. If left unchecked, the acid can lead to damages in the enamel covering the teeth and creates holes called cavities. If allowed to grow, these holes can affect nerves or even cause tooth fractures, both of which can be painful. Filling cavities early keeps them from progressing to this stage, and will spare your child pain or sensitivity.
Cavities Can Lead to More Serious Infections
Cavities harbor bacteria as it eats away at plaque and then the teeth themselves. Aside from the fact that you probably don’t want all that bacteria living in your child’s mouth, failing to address it can lead to more serious complications. Left unchecked, the bacteria in a cavity can lead to infection in the tooth. Such an infection can eventually spread to other tissues in the body, and could become serious or even life-threatening. Treating cavities early will stop the infection before it starts.
Baby Teeth Are Placeholders
Kids need teeth for all the same reasons adults do—for chewing food and helping them talk. Beyond that though, baby teeth act as placeholders, keeping a spot for the permanent teeth that will replace them later in life. Prematurely lost teeth (due to untreated cavities) cause shifting in the remaining teeth, and can result in overcrowding when the new teeth finally do come in. This likely means more extensive (and expensive!) procedures down the road. Treat cavities early to keep your child’s smile in place as they grow.
Baby those Baby Teeth
The best way to avoid all of the above problems is to start kids on the right foot with good oral hygiene habits. Help them learn the importance of limiting sugary foods, doing their daily brushing, and having regular dentist visits now. And if your child is showing any signs of tooth decay, check it out with your dentist and get it taken care of as soon as possible.
Protect your child’s health by setting up an appointment at Anew Dental & Orthodontics in Plainfield today.