It isn’t uncommon for new parents to wonder if cavities in baby teeth need treatment since baby teeth eventually fall out and get replaced by permanent teeth. If the primary teeth only last a short time, you might wonder why you should bother with fillings and other treatments.
The team at My Kidz Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona, understands the necessity of pediatric dental care and shares the following information about when baby teeth need treatment and when they probably don’t.
Reasons treating cavities in baby teeth is sometimes essential:
1. To prevent pain and discomfort
Baby teeth experience pain and discomfort, the same as adult teeth. When decay and cavities affect a tooth, it can cause significant pain and discomfort. Treating cavities found in baby teeth in the early stages ensures that your child remains comfortable and pain-free.
2. To maintain proper space for future permanent teeth
Baby teeth play a vital role in holding the necessary space for the incoming permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early because of decay, it can cause the neighboring teeth to shift into that empty space, potentially leading to alignment issues when the permanent teeth start to come in.
3. To ensure proper chewing and speech development
Untreated cavities may lead to premature tooth loss, impacting both eating and speaking abilities. Baby teeth are essential for chewing food properly, which has a direct impact on a child's nutrition. Teeth also help a child learn how to speak properly as some sounds are produced using the tongue's interaction with the teeth.
4. To prevent the spread of decay
Cavity-causing bacteria continues to grow and can spread to neighboring teeth, leading to more extensive dental issues and a higher risk for pain. It's always easier (and often less costly) to address a dental concern when it's in its early stages.
5. To encourage good oral hygiene habits
Establishing good dental habits early on is essential for long-term oral health. By addressing cavities promptly, we're teaching our children the importance of taking care of their teeth, even if they're "just" baby teeth.
That being said, our treatment approach for baby teeth at My Kidz Dental depends on the tooth's condition, its location, and how long it will be before it naturally falls out. In some cases, if the tooth is close to falling out on its own, we might recommend monitoring it rather than immediate treatment. However, in most cases, early intervention prevents further complications.
Although it's true that baby teeth are temporary, their health and well-being have long-lasting implications. Here at My Kidz Dentist, we aim to ensure that every child has a healthy smile that sets the stage for a lifetime of excellent oral health. Call the office, or schedule an appointment online to learn more about pediatric dental care.