Avoiding big problems in tiny teeth

Everyone knows that baby teeth fall out — usually starting around age six. So if a baby tooth develops a cavity, does it really need to be treated? After all, it’s just going to fall out.

Simply put, a cavity is a cavity and needs to be filled. Healthy baby teeth are important for speaking, chewing and the growth of the jaw itself. Remember that each baby tooth is replaced by a permanent tooth that lies below the gum line. If a cavity in a baby tooth moves into the bone, the infection can damage the permanent tooth below. Or if a baby tooth is lost early because of a cavity, the space it leaves is often filled in by the teeth on either side moving together. Then when it’s finally time for the permanent tooth to come in, it’s often left without enough room— so it gets stuck or moves to one side, creating new problems (and expenses) down the road.

The moral of this story: Baby teeth are very important. Eating right, proper brushing and regular dental visits are a must. Take care of them and you’ll be taking care of the permanent teeth, too.

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