In this blog on treating cavities in baby teeth, we will look at the following topics:
- What Are The Risks Of Having Cavities In Baby Teeth?
- What Causes Cavities In Baby Teeth?
- What Are The Pediatric Treatment Options For Cavities?
- Proper Pediatric Dental Care
- Where To Get Proper Pediatric Dental Care
What Are The Risks Of Having Cavities In Baby Teeth?
By the time a child is three years old, their 20 primary teeth should be in place. These baby teeth are essential for eating, speaking, and smiling. Along with these functions, baby teeth also exist as placeholders for the 32 permanent teeth that will eventually come in, typically beginning around the ages of five or six.
Until its eruption, permanent adult teeth are growing beneath the baby teeth. When a baby tooth gets a cavity, the permanent tooth is at risk of infection or damage. Similarly, an infected baby tooth that requires extraction can lead to teeth drifting. This can prevent a permanent tooth from being able to emerge and lead to crooked permanent teeth and overcrowding.
What Causes Cavities In Baby Teeth?
Just like permanent teeth, cavities in baby teeth are caused by tooth-decaying bacteria. Whenever you eat sugary foods containing carbohydrates, bacteria are left on the teeth. Bacteria from plaque build-up is what eventually leads to a cavity. This is why it’s just as important to practice good oral hygiene with baby teeth as with permanent teeth. These temporary teeth pave the path for healthy adult teeth to come in properly.
What Are The Pediatric Treatment Options For Cavities?
A pediatric pulpectomy, also called a baby root canal, can save an infected baby tooth and restore its functionality. This procedure is done in cases of a severely infected baby tooth. During the pediatric pulpectomy, all infected pulp is removed from the tooth’s crown and roots to save the rest of the tooth from decay. There’s a five-step process that the dentist follows:
- Numb the infected area.
- Create an opening in the tooth to access the root’s interior.
- Remove the infected tissue, and flush and clean the area.
- Fill the root with a special sealing material.
- Fill and seal the opening.
Once this process is complete, the tooth is saved; as a result, so is the permanent tooth that will eventually come in.
Proper Pediatric Dental Care
Pediatric dental care should be taken as seriously as permanent dental care. Consider the following practices to maintain healthy baby teeth during childhood development.
- Brushing and flossing. Baby teeth should be brushed twice daily and flossed once daily to prevent plaque buildup.
- No bottles in bed. Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle after teeth begin to prevent tooth decay.
- Brush after medicine. Brush your child’s teeth after they take medicine for teething pain. This type of medication tends to have a lot of sugar, such as liquid acetaminophen, which negatively affects oral health.
- Limit sugar consumption, including pastries, sodas, and candy.
- Regular dental checkups. Schedule appointments every six months with your child’s pediatric dentist.
It’s crucial to maintain healthy baby teeth. Baby teeth are designed to give a child the ability to properly chew, speak, and smile while prepping their mouth for permanent teeth. It’s imperative to schedule regular dental appointments so that in the event of a baby tooth cavity, the issue can be dealt with early on.
Where To Get Proper Pediatric Dental Care
The dentist can be a scary place for children. AZ Family Dental provides dental care for kids in a comfortable and fun environment. We recommend that your child’s first appointment be before their first birthday, per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists.
By starting dentist visits at such a young age, your child will have the protection against cavities that they need, and they’ll get used to the dental office early on. Schedule an appointment with us today or give us a call to learn more about the treatments we offer and how we can serve you and your family starting today. We look forward to hearing from you.