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Fillings for Baby Teeth: Are They Necessary?

January 16, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drforester @ 6:12 pm
little girl with baby teeth smiling at the dentist

If your child is like most kids, they often need to be reminded to keep eating and focus on their dinner. But when they complain of a toothache in one of their baby teeth, you wonder whether the dentist will put in a filling or just extract the tooth entirely.

Perhaps you think that fillings aren’t worthwhile in baby teeth, but it’s not true! Keep reading to learn why repairs to baby teeth are sometimes necessary.

Do Baby Teeth Really Matter?

At first, baby teeth may seem rather insignificant in the long run. They typically only last between 6 and 12 years of your child’s life, making way for permanent teeth. However, baby teeth are important to preserve until they are ready to come out.

Prematurely losing teeth because of decay not only puts your child through pain unnecessarily, but it also limits their eating experience and development. In other words, they need teeth to eat nutritious foods to grow strong. Learning to take care of their teeth is also a lifelong skill that they should start while they are young and easy to train.

In addition, early tooth loss can throw off the alignment of permanent teeth still forming beneath the gums. As a result, more aggressive orthodontic care may become required than if the baby teeth had come out naturally.

Are Fillings Necessary for Baby Teeth?

If your child’s baby tooth has decay, a filling addresses just the damaged structure, preserving the still healthy enamel. With their natural tooth intact, your little one can hopefully continue to have a varied, balanced diet as well as keep their teeth as straight as possible.

Although your child will eventually lose baby teeth and experience a period of transition, holding onto them will help this transition run more smoothly.

How Can I Prevent Cavities for My Child?

Cavities are the most common childhood condition in the world, even more common than asthma and allergies. However, they are avoidable. Decay results from the bacteria found in plaque, the white sticky substance that forms on teeth. To prevent cavities, plaque needs to be removed every day. In fact, your child’s teeth need to be brushed and flossed daily. Limiting sugar also keeps plaque and bacteria under control.

On top of this at-home care, a visit to the pediatric dentist every six months ensures that cavities are found early on to minimize the damage they cause.

In the end, even though your child’s baby teeth will come out by the time they’re teenagers, they are worth preserving and restoring if a cavity comes up. Teaching your child to responsibly care for their teeth can reduce the number of cavities both now and as they grow into adulthood, leading to a lifetime of confident smiles.

About the Practice

With Dr. James Forester and Dr. Natalie Vander Kam leading the way, Coastal Pediatric Dentistry prioritizes kids’ long-term dental health and creating positive experiences in the dental chair. They encourage prevention and early treatment to preserve baby teeth until they naturally fall out. To schedule an appointment at Coastal Pediatric Dentistry in San Luis Obispo, contact us online or call the office at 805-592-2020.

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