Your child’s baby teeth serve a number of functions for your growing child. The baby teeth promote the growth and development of the facial structures, assist in nutrition (chewing and eating), speech, appearance, as well as provide space and guidance for developing permanent teeth.
The front baby teeth are usually lost between 5 and 7 years of age; however, the molars are not lost until ages 10 to 13. If a cavity is left untreated in a baby tooth, the decay can spread to other baby teeth as well as the newly developing permanent tooth.
If the cavity is left untreated for an extended period of time, severe infection of the tooth can usually cause severe pain and destroy the tooth. The infection usually doesn’t just stay within a tooth. It will usually spread to the jaw to cause an abscess. Without antibiotics, infections can spread to the face, head and neck. These can be very serious and even life threatening.
Preventing cavities in kids isn’t just about brushing your teeth regularly. A poor diet can actually have more of an impact on their teeth than not brushing. Excessive milk, juice, and sodas should be avoided as they can severely weaken even the first few teeth to come into their mouth. Once kids get to about 3 years old, parents need to watch out for excessive candy in their diet. Our Dallas area dentist recommends that kids eat no more than 2 candies per week. Sugar free candies are available at such retailers as Wal-Mart or online here. Maintaining a clean mouth and addressing cavities in the baby teeth will instill good habits in your child early on and give their adult teeth the best chance for growing healthy and strong.