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Do Baby Teeth Cavities Need to be Filled?

Although children have a set of teeth that will fall out and eventually be replaced, it is still important to take care of their baby teeth. Our permanent teeth are actually guided by the baby teeth. Which means that if the baby teeth are missing or badly damaged, it can actually cause the permanent teeth to grow in poorly. It is important to start teaching children how to take care of their teeth from a young age. Even if you try to keep their teeth free from cavities, it can still happen. But you may ask, “is it worth actually taking care of the cavities since they will fall out anyway?” The answer is yes! Here are the reasons why.


Do cavities need to be filled? 

While it is true that they aren’t permanent, they are still the only teeth that children have for many years. To keep their mouth healthy it is important to have cavities filled.


What kind of fillings?

Similar to adult teeth, children’s fillings generally are made from either metal or composite. There are other materials used in adults teeth such as gold and ceramic but these are rarely ever used for kids. For children, metal is one of the most popular filling materials because it is one of the fasted to use. It also is less expensive. Many parents would prefer to save the money the teeth will fall out eventually. If you have dental insurance, then the type of filling may be decided by the insurance plan.

Depending on the amount of decay that has occurred, the dentist will drill it out and then fill the void. If they decay is severe then a crown might be necessary.


Other issues that require a crown or fillings.

While tooth decay is the most common reason for fillings. There are other circumstances that might require a filling or crown. This would include damage caused to the tooth by trauma. If a tooth brakes or cracks, then a filling or crown may be used. Or if the tooth is misshapen then a crown can correct this. The purpose of all of these fixes is to prevent pain, keep the teeth healthy so that the adult teeth grow in as straight as possible.


When is extraction necessary? 

The main reason to keep baby teeth, is to keep enough space for the adult teeth to grow. But sometimes extracting a tooth becomes necessary. If a cavity isn’t caught quickly enough, then it might require the tooth to be removed. Sometimes a false tooth will be put in the gap to keep the correct amount of space between the teeth.


How many fillings can be done at one time? 

The amount of fillings that can be done in one sitting is often decided by the dentist. Some will do them all at one time, and others will only do one during each visit. The reason behind this is usually determined by how the child responds. It is very difficult for a dentist to work on a crying child.


If you are nervous about your child’s first filling, talk to the dentist and they can help put you and your child’s fears at ease. No matter how good the dentist is, there is no substitute to good in home oral care. Teach your kids how to brush their teeth, and floss. Set a good example for them to follow!