Many people are under the assumption that baby teeth don’t need as much attention as adult teeth because they will “fall out” in time.  This is not the case, cavities in baby teeth can affect the permanent teeth in several ways.

If a cavity forms on the baby molars adjacent to the permanent “six year” molars, often times we see cavities form on the permanent molars.  These molars are especially important because a child will go on to have these teeth for his or her entire life.

Also, cavities are so deep and require that a tooth be removed or if it is so broken down from decay, the space left remaining can cause the other surrounding teeth to shift and can cause problems with the eruption of the permanent teeth and can cause problems with a person’s “bite”, often times requiring braces to correct.

Lastly, a child who has deep decay can be in a lot of pain and this can hinder a child’s ability to chew food.  As parents, we often struggle with getting our kids to eat food as it is, so the last thing we would want is mouth pain that further interferes with the ability to eat a variety of foods.

Many parents think that brushing is all that is necessary to keep the “sugar bugs” away, but diet plays a very important role in healthy teeth.  Frequent snacking on foods like crackers and dry cereal have been show to cause cavities much more than skipping a brushing or even eating a bowl of ice cream.  The sticky nature of snack foods such as crackers and dry cereal keeps the food on the teeth much longer giving carbohydrates to the “sugar bugs” to eat and therefore produce acid which eats at the teeth and causes cavities.  Local pediatric dentist, Dr. Roger Lucas, wrote a book on this whole phenomenon called More Chocolate, No Cavities.

We, at Mill Creek Dental, want your little ones to have healthy mouths.  We often see children starting at age 1 for a “Happy Visit”, which is usually a ride in the chair and a knee-to-knee exam with a parent or guardian.  Around age 3 is usually when we see a child ready for a dental exam and cleaning.  Please call us anytime to schedule a visit or “Happy Visit” for your little ones.  We’d be happy to discuss ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy through good home care habits and diet as well.