If you have ever wondered or even dared to ask your child’s pediatric dentist this question, “But these are baby teeth, won’t they just fall out? Why do we need to treat them?”; you are not alone! And you should never feel embarrassed to ask these questions, after all, you are not expected to know everything there is to children’s oral health and would rather rely on the “expert” to clarify these things!
Let’s start with what causes cavities? Cavities or “Dental Caries” as you may often hear the dentist say it is an infectious disease caused by “sugar bugs” aka bacteria. Bacteria break down the sugars in the child’s meal and snacks into acids that cause breakdown of the tooth enamel causing cavities. Frequent snacking on carb snacks and sipping on sweetened drinks favors acidic saliva which promotes the growth of cavity-causing bacteria in a child’s mouth.
This is a rapidly progressing “silent” condition, especially in kids. When you can see cavities with your own eyes, it is usually already very advanced and needs urgent and at times emergent attention. Fortunately or unfortunately, in most children, it does not cause any pain until it is really advanced and even then the child can be pain-free. Deceptive, isn’t? Well the good news is, the pediatric dentist will be able to “catch it” no matter how “sneaky” this disease tries to be and the sooner the kids start seeing a pediatric dentist the more likely they are to be cavity free or at least get them diagnosed at a much earlier stage if they develop. If left untreated, cavities not only get larger but can also cause an infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth which often manifests as an abscess.
From time to time we see these abscesses cause facial swelling which indicates the infection is spreading into the face, to the eye and in fatal cases can spread to the brain through the bloodstream. Also, the permanent teeth that are developing under the baby teeth are at risk of malformation or abnormal development if the baby teeth cavities are left to grow!
So the bottom line is very easy, very simple. Remember to schedule your cute little one for his/her 1st dental visit by their first birthday and every 6 months after that to ensure a lifetime of healthy and beautiful smiles!
Have any teeth related questions? Call our office at 661-388-0499 and schedule a free consultation appointment. * (conditions apply!)