Why do we need to fix my child’s baby teeth, they’re just going to fall out anyway. Yes, they are just baby teeth but some of the back baby molars will be in your child’s mouth until they are 10 to 12 years old so during that time frame there are many reasons to keep baby teeth.
One reason to treat baby teeth is for their function in chewing, in being able to eat a regular diet of crunchy foods and whatever they want to have.
Another reason is quality of life. Although it’s a baby tooth, a tooth ache in a baby tooth can be just as painful and debilitating as a tooth ache in a permanent tooth. So we definitely recommend that if we see a cavity, we don’t want to be waiting for it to develop into a tooth ache or worse a tooth abscess. Your child could be awake every night in a lot of pain, very upset and we want to keep their teeth healthy. There is research to show that the number one reason children are missing school is because of dental pain and this affects their learning with their peers and their overall development.
Another reason to treat baby teeth is that baby teeth hold the spot for permanent teeth. So if we just pull them out for instance, we say “we don’t want to save them, let’s just pull them”, then we haven’t’ held the spot for the permanent tooth. So they can have issues with crowding and needing orthodontic treatment later and that can be very costly. If we treat the baby teeth when they have a cavity then we can preserve the arch form which is the way the jaw is formed.
Another reason to treat an infected baby tooth with a big cavity is that the infection can actually go into the root of the tooth and into the bone of that baby tooth, underneath, where the permanent tooth is sitting and developing and can affect the development of the permanent teeth. This can range from some effect on the enamel to a permanent tooth that comes into the mouth with a cavity. It seems like it developed with decay and that’s because a baby tooth was left with an infection for a long period of time.
Another reason is for their enjoyment of smiling for such things as Santa pictures or for school pictures. If they are not confident in themselves amongst their peers because their teeth hurt or don’t look nice, the kids can be made fun of because of the way they look.
There are many reasons to look after your child’s baby teeth.