Even though your son or daughter’s baby teeth aren’t a permanent fixture in their precious smile, it’s essential that they’re taken care of. In fact, teaching your child how to maintain great oral health has a variety of long-term benefits. One of the most important reasons however is to help them prevent cavities or worse, a tooth infection. Here’s what you need to know about tooth decay, dental infections, and protecting your little one’s smile.
Are Baby Teeth Important?
Don’t brush off the importance of baby teeth! Your child’s little pearly whites play a big role in their quality of life. Primary teeth are fundamental for:
- Learning how to eat and chew properly.
- Developing clear speech patterns.
- Building self-esteem and confidence.
- Stimulating the development of facial bones and muscles.
- Saving space for permanent teeth and guiding them into position.
Why Do Kids Get So Many Cavities?
Did you know that tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood illness? Unfortunately, there are numerous factors that put your son or daughter at a higher risk of tooth decay. Baby teeth have less enamel than permanent teeth, which leaves them more susceptible to the decay caused by popular sugary drinks and snacks for children.
Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Need to Be Treated?
Teeth can’t heal themselves, so the longer a cavity goes untreated, the worse it will get. More enamel will be burned away over time, and the sensitive inner layers of the tooth will be exposed. Bacteria can then enter into a tooth via the cavity and infect it. Not only is a baby tooth infection very painful, but it can spread to nearby teeth, impact your child’s development, and cause lasting damage.
What Happens If My Child Gets a Tooth Infection?
While cavities are typically addressed with a simple filling, an infected tooth will need a more advanced treatment. If your child has an infected tooth, they may need:
- Root canal therapy: This procedure involves removing the infected tissue from inside the tooth to ease pain and prevent the bacteria from spreading while retaining natural tooth structure.
- Tooth extraction: If the tooth can’t be saved, it may need to be removed in order to contain the infection. A space saver will need to be placed to keep the surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap and trapping the permanent tooth underneath.
How Can I Protect My Child from Cavities?
Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways to minimize your child’s risk of developing cavities and prevent a tooth infection. Some of these precautions include:
- Don’t put your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup that contains anything aside from water.
- Limit the amount of fruit juice, soda, and sports drinks your little one consumes.
- Ensure your child is using a fluoridated toothpaste and drinking plenty of fluoridated tap water.
- Remind your son or daughter to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day and floss daily.
- Schedule your child’s first dental checkup before their first birthday and then routinely every six months afterwards.
Healthy baby teeth are essential to your little one’s quality of life. Preventing and treating cavities early will set them up for a lifetime of happy, healthy smiles!
About the Practice
At Celebration Family Dental, Dr. Rajiv Shekhadiya and Dr. Dhiren Ahir are proud to provide friendly and comfortable children’s dentistry to the families of Carrollton, TX and the surrounding communities. They fully understand that growing smiles need special care, and they are pleased to offer a range of services specifically for children. Some of these include sealants and fluoride treatments, which are designed to help fend off cavities. To learn more about protecting your child from tooth decay, they can be contacted via their website or at (469) 892-6647.