Baby teeth are more than just cute little teeth inside a child’s mouth, they are important features of a baby’s mouth and greatly influence many areas of development. The most chronic childhood disease is dental caries, or cavities, which is caused by the breakdown of tooth enamel. While it is unfortunate that cavities are common in children, many parents do not understand why these cavities need to be filled. If the baby teeth are going to fall out anyway, why not just pull the tooth or leave it alone until it falls out? First, it is important to consider that some baby teeth will not be replaced by permanent teeth until the child is ten to twelve years of age. If a child is allowed to have a cavity fester or have a gaping hole in the mouth for months or years at a time, there are negative consequences that can result.
Baby teeth serve many important roles:
- Chewing and Nutrition – All people need teeth to properly chew foods in order to gain adequate nutrition. Proper nutrition is threatened when a child is unable to chew appropriately.
- Speech – The teeth play a huge role in linguistics, how people speak and pronounce words. Baby teeth play a critical role in speech development.
- Permanent Teeth Eruption – Baby teeth are in place to hold the space for the permanent teeth to erupt correctly. If baby teeth are pulled too early or are allowed to fester with decay, they will compromise the correct position for where the permanent teeth were meant to erupt.
- Reduce Orthodontic Treatment – Damaged baby teeth can lead to improper jaw structure and misaligned teeth. Orthodontic treatment is quite costly, and waiting until the permanent teeth have all come in before taking proper care of a child’s mouth is only causing the need for orthodontic treatment to be more extensive and expensive.
- Decay Spreads – When any part of the body is infected with disease or decay, it is imperative that it be treated. Oral decay can spread from a single tooth throughout the entire mouth. Not only that, but when decay inside a tooth reaches the root of the tooth, it will be extremely painful. It will also compromise the health of the permanent tooth that is developing right below it.
Dr. Wayne G. Suway has been practicing dentistry for over 35 years. Dr. Suway understands the significance that baby teeth have on the entire oral health. His gentle manner and compassion allow him to fill cavities painlessly. Call us today.