It’s hard to associate troublesome cavities with adorable babies, but babies are far more vulnerable to dental disease than adults are due to the softer and thinner enamel on baby teeth (deciduous dentition). Baby bottle syndrome and poor cleaning habits are common factors that often lead to cavities in your child’s brand new teeth – the real question is since baby teeth are supposed to fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth, is it necessary to go through lots of work and spend money maintaining those deciduous teeth?
Baby teeth can easily become compromised by bacteria lingering in a young child’s mouth – and if not treated quickly, can decay away in matter of weeks. In many cases, the poor child not only suffers from toothaches, but during the first dental visit an unpleasant memory association of the dentist’s office can develop subconsciously. If your dental professional notes that a severely decayed baby tooth needs a root canal (followed with baby tooth crown ), don’t panic – this routine procedure is vital if the tooth is fully compromised! In this situation, the frustrations, the lengthy processes and the expenses might lead to the thinking “why bother with all the work, why not just pull the unhealthy baby teeth?” If the infected baby tooth is left untreated, not only will it lead to a unhappy child, it can also affect the permanent tooth lying below the unhealthy baby tooth.
By the time your child reaches age 2, he or she should have 20 deciduous teeth, as permanent teeth start to grow in around age 5 1/2 to 6. The lower front baby teeth are the first to exfoliate, replaced by permanent teeth. At the same time, permanent molars also emerge behind the baby molars. This process continues as baby teeth fall out, visits are paid from the tooth fairy and new teeth erupt through the gum, a memory in every child! The last set of baby teeth eventually exfoliate around age 12, to be replaced by permanent bicuspids. Even if your child’s baby teeth are not be in the best condition, they serve an important role in addition to chewing and speech function – baby teeth maintain necessary space in the jaw bone for permanent teeth to grow in.
If a child looses a baby tooth too early, the jaw bone misses out on functional stimulation by not holding up by the baby tooth. The consecutive permanent tooth will be affected and will not develop nor align properly. It is for this reason that baby teeth cannot be simply pulled in the event of a cavity . If a baby tooth is lost early, placing a space maintainer will hold the jaw dimension at its original measure, ensuring the proper development of permanent teeth. Take proper care in maintaining baby teeth – they may be short lived, but the effect and influence of deciduous teeth are life long and shouldn’t be overlooked.