10. May 2011 10:55
Parents often ask the pediatric dentist "Why do we fix cavities on the baby teeth? They are just going to fall out, right?" Yes, baby teeth eventually fall out. However, there are multiple teeth in children's mouths that stay in place until a child is 12 or 13 years old! Baby teeth have their own nerve supply, allowing children to experience pain and infection if cavities are not addressed when they are small. There are children every year who are admitted to the hospital and even die from a dental infection that could have been easily prevented with regular dental visits.
Another common question we are asked by parents is "Instead of fixing the cavity, can't we just take the tooth out?" Removal of a baby tooth is always an option, but baby teeth serve a very important purpose. Aside from allowing children to eat, speak and function appropriately, the teeth serve as a guide for the the adult teeth to come into the mouth. Without healthy baby teeth to guide the permanent teeth, major orthodontic complications can result.
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