child brushing teeth 2An early focus of dentistry is to teach children the proper techniques of brushing and flossing so that they can clean their teeth in order to prevent cavities. However, despite good effort and instruction, children’s teeth still may succumb to tooth decay. However, when a cavity develops in a baby (primary) tooth, is a dental filling really necessary? To learn the answer to this question, read the following information from your Brighton dentist, Dr. Thomas Villani, below.

Kids and Tooth Decay

Sometimes children have a tendency to rush through brushing and flossing their teeth. If they do this too often, bacteria may attach themselves to teeth by forming plaque and tartar. Once attached to teeth, these bacteria can consume lingering sugar in the mouth, allowing them to give off an acid byproduct that damages teeth. If enough damage occurs, a cavity can develop.

Dental Fillings and Baby Teeth

Once a cavity is discovered, it should be filled as quickly as possible. The same goes for a filling in a primary tooth. While it may make sense that a primary tooth is only temporary, making its loss less of a problem, this way of thinking is not accurate. If a cavity is neglected, the bacteria responsible for it can burrow further into the tooth until they access its pulp. Once in the pulp, the bacteria can create an infection, putting the entire tooth in peril of dying. If a primary tooth is lost prematurely, it can no longer fulfill its role of preserving space for the tooth growing in behind it. With the tooth gone, the teeth on either side of it may drift into the empty space, creating orthodontic problems when the adult teeth come in.

Another potential problem of an untreated cavity in a primary tooth is a spreading infection. Even if the tooth falls out, there is no guarantee that the infection will die with the lost tooth. In some cases, infections can spread into the jaw and even throughout the body, where they can cause illness.

Schedule a Visit with Your Brighton Kids’ Dentist

Does your child have a cavity that needs to be filled? If so, contact your Brighton kids’ dentist, Dr. Villani, today to schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling Brighton Family Dental Group at (617) 562-5210. We proudly serve patients from Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and the 02135 area.