Do Cavities In Baby Teeth Need To Be Treated?
Baby teeth start to come through at around the age of 6 months and then start to fall out again at around the age of 5 or 6 years old.
This creates the common misconception that baby teeth aren’t important and don’t need to be treated when tooth decay and cavities set in.
However, this cannot be further from the truth.
Cavities are a common occurrence in baby teeth as the enamel is thinner and the teeth are softer meaning that they are more susceptible to decay.
Filling these cavities as soon as possible is critical for the following reasons:
- – Nutrition at a young age is critical to optimal development and painful cavities can negatively affect a child’s ability to chew and eat.
- – Healthy teeth are essential to language development and the correct pronunciation of words.
- – The baby teeth pave the way for adult teeth to grow in straight, strong and healthy.
- – Tooth decay in baby teeth can damage the underlying buds of the adult teeth resulting in stains or discolouration and damage to the new adult teeth.
- – Cavities may result in misaligned teeth or an over or underbite.
How Are Cavities In Baby Teeth Treated?
Just like with adult teeth, cavities or holes in baby teeth need to be filled.
Generally, the process involves cleaning the cavity, removing the decay and then placing filling material in the hole.
In cases where the teeth have deteriorated beyond the help of a filling, a crown or cap may be placed on the tooth.
As a last resort and only where decay has resulted in massive deterioration of the teeth, will one or more extractions be considered.
This is the last resort as the procedure will normally need to be performed under general anaesthetic for a child which has risks.
Removing the baby teeth long before they are ready to fall out can also negatively impact the growth of the adult teeth.
How To Prevent Cavities In Baby Teeth?
Most parents are shocked when they discover that their baby, toddler or child have a cavity.
After all, they are usually the ones brushing their children’s teeth, and as well-meaning as parents can be, its not an easy job brushing your children’s teeth.
However, there are many reasons why cavities are common in children and just as many steps that you can take as a parent to prevent them.
Step 1 – Visit The Dentist
Babies should first visit the dentist at around the age of 1 year to check for any early cavities or other dental problems.
Kids regular yearly check-ups are recommended to help prevent tooth decay and to check for cavities.
The first visit also gives parents the opportunity to learn how to correctly clean and care for their child’s teeth.
Step 2 – Daily Brushing
It is recommended to brush a child’s teeth at least once a day but preferably twice – in the morning and in the evening.
Brushing should be supervised and it may be necessary for a parent to take over to ensure that the job has been done properly.
Children are actually only ready to brush their own teeth without assistance at about the age of 6 to 8 years when baby teeth have already fallen out.
Remember to allow your child to rinse well and floss their teeth every day.
Step 3 – Acid And Sugar
Acid is just as damaging to baby teeth as sugar and it is best to avoid foods and beverages that are sugary or acidic.
A quick rinse and spit with water or an age-appropriate mouthwash after eating can help eliminate harmful sugar, acids and bacteria on the teeth.
It is also important for parents to know the signs and symptoms of cavities and make an appointment with a dentist if there is any concern.
If you need any dental advice or any sort of dental procedure, then look no further than Vineyard Dental Clinic.
Vineyard Dental Clinic offers a full array of dental services in Sunbury to help you and your family maintain healthy teeth.
We work with children, and adults, to find the most suitable solution to their unique issues.