We often have parents ask us some version of this question. Do kids really need to have their cavities treated? After all, won’t the baby teeth eventually just fall out anyway? This line of thought is common, but dangerous, and could lead to serious oral health complications for your child. In today’s blog, your Houston, TX, dentist explains why kids always need to have their cavities treated with fillings!
The Dangers of Ignoring Cavities in Little Smiles
How does a cavity occur in the first place? Well, for kids and adults alike, our teeth are coated in a thin layer of tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. The enamel prevents harmful bacteria from reaching the inner structure, which is sensitive and porous. However, should poor oral hygiene lead to plaque buildup, then the enamel could erode and cause cavities. Chipped and cracked teeth could also cause the onset of tooth decay. The decay will only grow worse with time and in extreme cases, this could allow the decay to reach the inner pulp and enable an infection to develop. Unless treated, an infected tooth could mean a lost tooth. For kids, baby tooth could fall out months or even years after a cavity forms, and losing one prematurely impacts how the permanent teeth erupt and could mean a greater risk of dental misalignment!
If you attend routine checkup and cleaning visits every six months then we will likely identify the presence of a cavity in the earliest possible stages, before your kids experience discomfort. Otherwise, you may not know something is wrong until they complain about sensitive or aching teeth. At this point, treatment is crucial because the decay is reaching the more advanced stages. A filling means we administer a local anesthetic and then remove decay from the tooth. We then prepare and place the filling material. Instead of using metal, we opt for a metal-free blend of glass and acyrlic, which we can actually be shaded to match the appearance of your child’s tooth. Finally, we cure the material with a light and then polish the teeth for a more attractive appearance.
To help your little ones avoid cavities, we suggest cutting back on their consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and making sure they brush twice a day and floss every night. You may need to monitor and assist your younger children. Make time to see us every six months as well, we would love to help you and your family enjoy optimal oral health and avoid the onset of a cavity!
MMC DENTAL PROVIDES CHILDREN’S DENTISTRY
Our team is ready to help your entire family enjoy healthier smiles with general and preventive care. To find out more about our approach to children’s dentistry, then please schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Chan by calling MMC Dental in Houston, TX, today at (713) 926-8896.