Everyone knows that when an adult tooth develops a cavity, it needs to be drilled and filled in order to preserve the health of the tooth. But what about baby teeth? A surprising number of parents sometimes believe that a child's teeth don't need to be drilled in the same way that an adult's teeth do. After all, they'll lose the tooth anyway, right? While it's common to think this way, it doesn't really work that way.
This is why your child still needs a filling if they develop a cavity on a baby tooth.
If your child's tooth doesn't receive a filling, it will likely die. The decay will continue to the point where the tooth can no longer survive, and it will fall out. However, it's going to cause a lot of problems even getting to that point.
For one, your child would likely be in a lot of pain having the cavity continue to develop. For another, it could induce a gum infection that could put surrounding teeth at risk, too.
The Importance of a Baby Tooth
Baby teeth do more than just help your child to chew. They also act as the guideposts for the adult teeth moving in behind them.
When a baby tooth is in the right position, it effectively holds open a space for the adult tooth to move in directly behind it. Once the adult tooth has moved into that position, a portion of the baby tooth is absorbed back into the body and the rest falls out. Then the adult tooth moves into the same place where the baby tooth just was.
Without the baby tooth in the proper position, the adult tooth has no guideposts. It can come in crookedly or even sideways, which requires dental assistance in order to fix.
Helping Your Child
By now it should be pretty clear that if your child has a cavity, it needs to be taken care of by a dentist. Here's what you can do to ease your child through this process.
For starters, seek out a children's dentist. These dentists specialize in taking care of children and are accustomed to working with small mouths and nervous little kids. They'll take extra steps to ensure your child's comfort.
In addition, you can ask to stay with your child while they have their tooth worked on. This will help your little one to feel more comfortable and safe. But most importantly, keep in mind that your child's dentist will use all the same techniques that are performed to treat an adult tooth; in other words, your child won't feel any pain.
To learn more about pediatric dentistry, talk to a dentist like Dentistry For Children.