Why should I have my child’s baby tooth cavity fixed?
This is a question we get a lot! In short, baby teeth “hold place” for big teeth. It’s important to make sure your little one has room for their big teeth to come in by keeping their baby teeth healthy.
Cavities can spread to other surrounding teeth.
Here’s another not-so-fun fact: Cavities can spread to other surrounding teeth. Imagine if your child has a cavity on a tooth right beside a brand new adult tooth. The adult tooth is now at risk for getting a cavity as well.
Teeth also help your child speak.
Have you ever talked to a child who has recently lost a front tooth? Have you noticed they speak with a lisp? That’s because your front teeth have a lot to do with forming sounds (we’ve talked about this in another post). Learning to speak correctly is tough enough for children, so making sure their baby teeth (and adult teeth) stay healthy will give them the best start in their early years.
Left untreated, the cavity will continue to grow larger.
Here’s another scenario if the cavity is left untreated. Left untreated, the cavity will continue to grow larger. Since a cavity forms due to bacteria, if the cavity gets big enough it can cause swelling and pain. It can even, although rarely, turn into a life-threatening situation. As parents we can keep our kiddos feeling their best with regular dental visits and by following through with recommendations in a timely manner.
children will have some baby teeth until they are about 12 years old
Lastly, keep in mind that most children will have some baby teeth until they are about 12 years old. In fact, these baby teeth that hang around for long are actually at a higher risk of getting a cavity before they fall out. Here’s a good scenario. If a baby tooth that is supposed to be in place until your child is 12 years old develops a cavity when he is 6 years old, that would be 6 years without a tooth in place. Losing a baby tooth too early can also delay the adult tooth from erupting at the time that it is supposed to. So if a cavity isn’t fixed, and your child needs to have the tooth removed before the adult tooth is ready to come in, instead of 6 years without an adult tooth, it could be even longer.
By having a cavity fixed in your child’s tooth you can potentially avoid additional trips to the dentist and avoid unforeseen dental emergencies. Following through with the dentist’s recommended conservative treatment truly does help prevent less-comfortable and potentially expensive dental visits down the road.