A common misconception held by parents is that baby teeth do not need to be looked after the same way as adult teeth. Why worry about them if they’re going to fall out soon anyway? In reality, there are a number of reasons why providing twice daily supervised brushing for your child is extremely beneficial for both their baby teeth and permanent teeth.
Firstly, baby teeth compared to adult teeth have much thinner enamel and larger pulp chambers. This means that bacterial acid eat through baby teeth at a much faster rate and are able to reach the nerve sooner, leading to infection, pain or even need for tooth extraction. Regular dental visits and a good oral hygiene routine at home will prevent decay or allow for early detection of cavities, requiring only a small filling compared to more invasive procedures or extractions.
Baby teeth also play a crucial role in maintaining space for their permanent successors. When baby teeth are prematurely lost due to breakdown from decay or dental extractions, neighboring teeth move forward into the new space. This causes problems when permanent teeth try to erupt in this space, leading to crowding or malpositioned teeth. This may necessitate orthodontic intervention to correct crowding and move the permanent teeth into their ideal position.
Finally, large cavities in baby teeth can affect the permanent teeth underneath if the infection has reached the pulp and the baby tooth is not due to fall out soon. This puts the permanent tooth at risk before it has even erupted into the child’s mouth, leading to possible complications and need for further treatment.
To avoid these problems, make sure you begin to brush your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge. For very young infants, a soft washcloth can be used to wipe the teeth until they can tolerate a soft bristled toothbrush. Bring your child in for dental check-ups every 6 months to prevent or identify any problems. One of our clinicians will examine your child’s teeth and inform you whether the cavity should be filled or left alone if tooth is expected to fall out soon. At Finesse Dental, our staff are trained to be patient and empathetic with children, and our mission is to make dental visits not only tolerable but enjoyable for our young patients.
For more information about dental treatments, please call 02 8824 4800 or contact us online.