Children have 20 baby teeth, all of which will be replaced with permanent teeth as the child ages. Baby teeth hold space for the adult teeth and if they are lost too early, the child is much more likely to have crowded teeth. If space is lost in the dental arches, permanent teeth may become impacted or stay up in the gums or bone. When this happens, more costly surgery and orthodontics are often needed.
The enamel on baby teeth is thinner than that of adult teeth. Unfortunately, this can lead to the cavity getting into the nerve of the tooth faster. Untreated cavities in either adult or baby teeth can lead to pain, swelling, and abscesses. Abscessed teeth are painful to chew on, and, as a result, a child may not eat properly and get the nutrition needed for their growing body.
There are times and situations when baby teeth do need to be removed. At Lone Oak Dental, when this happens, we often create a dental device that holds the space open until the adult tooth erupts. Please don’t delay if you suspect or know that your child has cavities; treating them now can avoid tears in your child’s eyes and years of orthodontic treatment.