“It doesn’t matter if baby teeth get cavities, they’re going to fall out anyway.” Unfortunately for many children, this is a very popular myth among parents. Primary teeth are critical for many reasons. If a child has deep decay in a primary tooth, it could lead to extreme pain and a potential life threatening infection. Painful or decayed teeth can distract a child from doing well in school and may be effect self confidence. Losing front teeth early due to decay can contribute to a speech impediment. The infection on a primary tooth can spread to permanent teeth and may effect the formation in the development stage. When primary teeth are lost early, permanent teeth have a tendency to come in too early. They frequently erupt in the wrong place, almost guaranteeing the need for braces/orthodontic treatment in the future.
Handled properly, most small children actually do quite well during dental appointments. Encouragement and rewarding good behavior are key elements for success. Each visit gives children the opportunity to interact, ask questions, and learn the importance of dental health. Occasionally, a very young child will cry or express some apprehension on the first visit or two. After that, the large majority of children have the confidence and familiarity with the examination to get through it with no problem. It is better to get all of that out of the way at age one than to go through all of that at age six!
At Rolling Oaks Dental, we recommend child have the first dental visit at six months and be seen at six month intervals, whether they have teeth yet or not. Starting good habits early is critical for both the parents and children is critical. Waiting until a child is in pain or for a tooth to break or change color is not a wise plan. At this point, options typically become limited and costly. Our comfort level and extensive experience with pediatric dental patients makes our practice the perfect fit for your entire family.
The photo seen above is a set of NuSmile crowns, made in Houston, Texas. You may have seen a child before that had metal caps on all of their front teeth. When decay is severe, this is occasionally necessary. In these cases, we offer the NuSmile crowns as a more cosmetic alternative.