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The Big Scoop on Cavities: Do Baby Teeth Really Need Fillings?

December 15, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — stroud @ 4:33 pm
A dentist checking a child's baby teeth for cavities

Making decisions about your child’s dental care can be daunting as a parent. Sometimes you need to prioritize multiple important things for your family’s quality of life. This can be difficult, especially when it seems like everything is given equal weight. For instance, should you put getting fillings for your child’s baby teeth at the top of the list, or near the bottom?

If you want to learn more about cavities in baby teeth and the potential drawbacks to waiting, continue reading. Having this information can help you determine the best course of action for your child.

The Myth of Disposable Baby Teeth

There’s a common misconception that baby teeth are expendable since they eventually fall out. While it’s true that baby teeth are temporary, they are also incredibly important for a child’s oral development. For instance, they help with speech, proper chewing, and are necessary to guide the eruption of permanent teeth.

What Do Fillings Do for Baby Teeth?

When a dentist finds a cavity in a baby tooth, they fill it to prevent further decay. Doing this will support the strength of the tooth until it naturally falls out. Baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth, and premature loss can lead to issues. Some of these can include:

  • Improper bite – A child’s “bite” is how their teeth fit together. If this is misaligned, it can lead to discomfort, teeth grinding, and jaw pain.
  • Teeth crowding – The child’s teeth cram together in their jaw, shifting and possibly damaging one another.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth – If your child’s mouth becomes crowded, there’s a good chance that their wisdom teeth will be impacted. This causes the teeth to grow into the gums or erupt crooked, often causing pain or damaging other teeth.
  • Speech impediments – When a child’s teeth don’t grow properly, they have a strong chance of developing speech impediments such as lisps. This is due to improper tooth and tongue placement.

What Should My Child Expect from the Treatment?

Fillings are one of the simplest and most routine procedures that a dentist can perform. Modern anesthetics, technologies, and techniques make the procedure fast and painless. First, the dentist uses their instruments to remove the decayed spot on the tooth. Then, they fill it with a little dental-grade resin and use a curing light to make it harden.

Once this is done, the filling is bonded to the tooth and looks like a natural part of it. Once the hole is filled, it prevents bacteria and acid from further eroding the spot.

So, if your child needs a filling, it’s best to make it a priority. The longer you wait, the more risk your child has of losing the tooth! Taking a proactive approach to treating their baby teeth shows them your responsibility as a parent. But more than that, it demonstrates the importance of preemptive care, setting them up for a lifetime of good dental hygiene and happy smiles.

About the Practice

At Stroud Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Robert Casey Stroud and Dr. Michael Ball work together to provide quality dental care with lasting results for kids. They pride themselves on their comfortable, state-of-the-art facility with the latest dental technology that makes customizing your child’s treatment pain-free and accessible for everyone. Call (817) 441-2425 to schedule an appointment, or visit the website to see what services they offer.

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