According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cavities are one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in the US. However, if your son or daughter’s baby teeth will fall out eventually anyways, do they really need to be treated? Although they’re not a permanent fixture in your child’s smile, it’s essential to treat tooth decay in primary teeth to stop larger issues from developing. Your Fitchburg pediatric dentist explains five important reasons why treating your little one’s cavities as early as possible is so important.
1.) Prevent Intense Toothaches
Unfortunately, cavities don’t just go away on their own. As the outermost shell of enamel is worn away, the sensitive layer of dentin underneath is exposed. This delicate layer is hypersensitive to temperatures, making it painful to eat, drink, or breathe hot or cold items. Tooth sensitivity can be so uncomfortable for your child that it may negatively impact their nutrition as they avoid certain foods.
2.) Avoid a Root Canal or Tooth Extraction
If the cavity breaches the enamel, it allows bacteria to access the inner parts of the tooth. This bacterium can infect the tooth pulp and attack the tooth’s nerve. The only way to fully eliminate a painful bacterial infection inside of a tooth is to perform a root canal or tooth extraction.
3.) Stop the Spread of Infection
Dental infections can easily spread to nearby teeth and cause more cavities. Since the enamel on baby teeth is weaker than the enamel that encases permanent teeth, the neighboring teeth are already at a higher risk of damage and decay. What starts as one untreated, annoying cavity can turn into a mouthful of painful, weakened teeth.
4.) Protect Developing Permanent Teeth
Many people don’t realize how important baby teeth are. They play a key role in developing a proper bite alignment and the formation of an adult smile. Not only do they save space in the jaw for permanent teeth, but they also help them grow in straight and healthy. A baby tooth with untreated decay could lead to an overbite or wonky adult teeth.
5.) Support Strong Teeth & Self-Confidence
Perhaps most importantly, leaving a cavity in a baby tooth untreated impacts your little one’s quality of life. Weakened, sensitive teeth can make it more difficult for your son or daughter to eat properly and speak clearly. Being embarrassed of their smile can have a significant negative influence on their self-esteem as well.
Don’t let tooth decay ruin your child’s smile! Get every cavity treated right away and do your best to prevent them from developing in the first place with great at-home oral hygiene!
About the Author
At Simply Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry in Fitchburg, MA, we know that growing smiles need extra care. Our pediatric dentist Dr. Derek Leung has specialized training in meeting the unique dental needs of children as well as how to make them feel calm and confident in the dentist’s chair. To help your little one keep their teeth healthy and strong, he provides services like fluoride treatments and sealants. However, if a cavity is discovered, he can treat it as quickly, comfortably, and effectively as possible with a tooth-colored filling. If you have questions or concerns about tooth decay, he can be reached via his website or at (949) 264-3314.