Do You Need to Fill a Cavity in a Baby Tooth?
Every parent is happy to receive a favorable report from the dentist. However, what if during your child’s exam the doctor discovers a cavity or two? Do you need to fill a cavity in a baby tooth? Although these teeth are not permanent, you should never use this as an excuse to dismiss caring for them properly. These temporary teeth play a significant role in your child’s development. Taking the time to care for your little one’s dental health will ensure that their adult teeth have a better chance of coming in straight, healthy and strong.
Childhood Cavities are Very Common
Before you start to feel guilty about your child getting a cavity, you should understand that this is a common occurrence. The chances of going through childhood without a cavity are quite slim. Studies have shown that nearly half the children between the ages of 2 and 11 have had dental issues. These reports suggest that the trend has increased, and will continue. This is due to such factors as prolonged bottle feeding and excess sugar consumption.
Fillings are Necessary for Kids
So, here is what to expect if your child is one of the 50% of children that does get a cavity. First, you need to understand that fillings are necessary even if the cavity is pain-free. And here’s why. Tooth decay is an infection. If it is allowed to continue, your little one could require a more severe treatment than just a filling. Furthermore, filling a cavity prevents the spread of infection, therefore keeping the adult teeth beneath the gums healthy. Lastly, if the decay festers, it could lead to quite a painful situation, leading to repercussions including everything from loss of concentration to sleepless nights.
Some parents ask if it would just be easier to pull the tooth. Whenever possible, your dentist will want to keep the tooth in place until it falls out naturally. The primary teeth act as space keepers. Allowing the tooth to remain helps ensure adult teeth grow in straight.
Treat Cavities Immediately
It is also important to note that should your dentist discover a cavity that it be treated as soon as possible. Baby teeth have a much thinner enamel than primary teeth. Therefore, even the hint of tooth decay can progress quickly, leading to pain, infection, and even an abscess in the area. It is better to treat right away with a small filling than to have to worry about extensive, possible painful endodontic treatment, such as a crown.
Once your child’s molars have come in, this is a good time to discuss dental sealants. Most pediatric dentists recommend this preventative treatment. It can help spare your child from ever developing tooth decay.
If you have questions about whether you need to fill a cavity in a baby tooth or preventative treatment options, please contact Tooth Fairy Smiles. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff is on hand to explain procedures and offer answers. Better yet, schedule an appointment today for a complete comprehensive exam. Together we can work to ensure your child will receive the best dental care they deserve. Call us today!