Carlisle's Dental Health Blog
Can Baby Teeth Get Cavities?
Yes, baby teeth can get cavities, in fact, research shows that 42% of children ages 2 to 11 have had cavities in their primary (baby) teeth. Since baby teeth are just going to fall out many parents think they can just let it go if their child has a cavity. It’s true that these teeth don’t last forever, but they are not expendable and untreated cavities can cause serious immediate harm, and negatively affect how a young mouth develops.
What Can Happen If A Cavity Is Left Untreated?
– Impact children’s nutrition, and impede them from eating healthy food.
– Cause overbites, and bite alignment problems that require oral appliances to fix.
– Hinder adult teeth from growing in straight and healthy.
– Impede proper speech, and negatively affect self-esteem.
– Cause severe tooth pain, that worsens without treatment.
– Lead to infections that affect nearby teeth, and cause more cavities.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay & Cavities
Cavities are the most prevalent childhood disease in the United States, but it’s also the most preventable. You can help your child to prevent cavities and tooth decay by encouraging them to get into a proper oral health routine, which means brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time and flossing once per day.
You can also take easy dietary measures to prevent cavities, too. Try removing sugary beverages from their diet, and substitute them for fluoridated water, which is one of the most powerful tools in the fight against cavities.
The American Dental Association recommends dental sealants for everyone, including kids. Your child’s first molars will appear around the age of 6 and second molars break through around age 12. It’s important to protect these teeth as early as possible which can keep them cavity-free and save time and money down the road.
Research has shown that kids who get sealants are up to three times less likely to develop tooth decay compared to their peers who do not. Great oral hygiene for your child can even have an impact on your child’s performance in school. When a child experiences issues with their teeth this can affect their ability to eat and sleep, which can have negative impacts on their success in school. Although there is maintenance required as sealants aren’t permanent, they only need to be reapplied every 3-5 years.
Your child’s mouth will go through a host of changes, from that cute, gummy smile when they’re a baby to having a full set of choppers to bite at you with. At each stage of development, there are unique challenges you’ll need to address. Not all of it is obvious and it’s good to have resources to lean on. If you have questions and need them answered or simply need to bring your child in for a visit. Contact our office and we’ll help to set you on the path of good oral health for your child.