Why Treat Cavities in Baby Teeth

Babies begin growing their first teeth at around six months old. These baby teeth help children learn to eat and speak properly as they keep the jaw healthy and prepared for adult permanent teeth. Kids start to lose baby teeth at age five or six, and then adult teeth will burst through the gums.

Because these primary teeth are going to fall out on their own, you might wonder if taking care of them with diligent and thorough oral health care is important. These teeth can develop cavities. And you may consider skipping dental work to treat this tooth decay because the child will lose the tooth eventually.

But leaving tooth decay untreated can lead to long-term consequences for your child’s oral health. Make sure your child takes care of their baby teeth, including oral hygiene and cavity treatment when needed. Read on to learn about the dangers that can happen if you do not seek treatment for cavities in your child’s baby teeth.

Why Treat Cavities in Baby Teeth

Risk of Untreated Tooth Decay in Baby Teeth

A cavity develops in a baby or adult tooth when natural oral bacteria penetrate a weak spot in the enamel and eat a hole into the surface. This tooth decay will spread deeper into the tooth and across its surface without intervention from a dentist.

If a child will ultimately lose a baby tooth, you might think damage to this tooth will not matter. But advanced stages of tooth decay can cause severe discomfort for the young dental patient. Tooth pain may then affect the child’s eating habits and ability to perform other oral functions like talking.

If decay reaches the interior of the tooth, the child could develop an infection or see more cavities. Then they may need more extensive dental work that could become expensive as well as traumatizing.

Untreated cavities may also affect the growth of adult teeth. These permanent teeth might not be able to grow straight. Then the child might need orthodontics or other dental intervention to ensure their smiles stay healthy. So do not ignore cavities in your child’s baby teeth.

Treatment for Cavities in Primary Teeth

A dentist will evaluate a child’s oral health to determine the optimal treatment option for a cavity in a baby tooth. The child’s age and the severity of the tooth decay are a few factors the dentist considers when preparing to treat a cavity.

For minor cases of tooth decay, the dentist might suggest preventative measures to fight cavities. This will include methods of strengthening the teeth, such as fluoride.

Many cavities will need a dental filling to restore the tooth’s health. This involves a dentist removing the decayed part of the enamel and using composite resin to rebuild the tooth’s structure.

More advanced instances of decay could require the removal of more enamel than a dental filling can repair. Then the young patient might need a dental crown to cover the entire surface of the tooth and restore its health. Consult a family dentist about prompt cavity treatment to avoid severe tooth decay.