Since primary teeth, commonly known as baby teeth, don’t stick around forever, we might get the idea that maintaining them isn’t all that important. After all, if you knew you were going to replace it soon, you probably wouldn’t obsess over the condition of an old cell phone. Thus, if your dentist tells you your child has a cavity, you may not feel a sense of urgency to fill it. However, by neglecting to do so, you could be causing permanent damage to your child’s mouth.
Cavities are a result of tooth decay, which arises when we are not practicing proper oral hygiene. When cavities go untreated, they can become infected. The infection can then spread, creating more tooth decay, causing damage that lasts long after the baby teeth are gone.
In addition to the risk of permanent damage, another reason to fill the cavities in baby teeth is that baby teeth can stick around for a long time. In fact, children typically don’t have all their permanent teeth until they reach ages 12-13. Until then, these are the teeth with which your child has to chew. Having untreated cavities in them can cause sensitivity, affecting your child’s diet, leading to issues with nutrition.
Diet and nutrition aren’t the only way baby teeth affect your child’s growth. They also create the correct pathway for permanent teeth, are partially responsible for the development of speech, and, if damaged, can cause overbite and other issues with jaw-structure.
If your child is currently cavity-free, make sure to keep up on the following tips to keep their teeth healthy and strong. If you know your child has a cavity, or are unsure, make sure to schedule an appointment with your child’s dentist so that permanent damage can be avoided.
How to help prevent cavities from forming in your child’s baby teeth:
– Teach them to brush for two minutes, twice a day
– Limit their sugar intake, especially juice and other sugary beverages
– Make sure they are drinking plenty of water
– Take them to their dentist regularly