A lot of parents don’t know the answer to this question. Why do your child’s cavities need to be treated if the baby teeth are going to fall out anyway? There are several important reasons your children’s cavities should not go untreated!
Cavities form by bacteria digging through the enamel and into the tooth nerve, which means that cavities are highly susceptible to infection. Once a tooth is infected, there are several serious scenarios that could occur.
The cavity could develop into an abscess. An abscess is a pocket of infection that settles into a tooth. Abscesses are extremely painful, require tooth extraction, and create risk for infection to spread to the jaw, brain, or bloodstream.
Baby teeth serve as placeholders for incoming permanent teeth. If a baby tooth gets infected and has to be removed early, it’s possible that the child will need to be fitted with a space maintainer or that the permanent teeth may not erupt (aka, grow in) in the right positions.
When baby teeth are removed prematurely, a child’s speaking and eating habits may be disrupted, leading to other developmental difficulties.
Untreated tooth decay can spread to other teeth and even create issues with the permanent teeth developing and emerging around them.
What’s the point of all this information? Basically this: treating cavities in baby teeth actually matters, and filling a cavity is both simpler and safer for your child than the alternatives! It’s also helpful to remember that children don’t lose their molars until they are 10-12 years old. In other words, some “temporary teeth” still have a fairly lengthy lifespan!
That being said, if you have further questions about the size, severity, or treatment of cavities in your child’s teeth, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and concerns with your child’s dentist! We value your trust and want you to be completely satisfied with the care that your child receives at our office.