THEY ARE ONLY BABY TEETH, WHY DO THEY NEED TO BE FIXED?
If your child has the right combination of factors, he or she will never have a cavity, a trauma, a toothache, etc… and the baby teeth will follow a normal biological time of replacement with the permanent ones. Knowing the lifestyle nowadays, this is not a common situation.
While the front baby teeth will be shed for adult teeth between six and eight years of age, the back ones (canines and baby molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13. Therefore, we need to make them last in the mouth as long as needed to allow:
- Proper chewing and eating. If your child is unable to eat properly due to missing or painful teeth, serious malnutrition issues, vitamin deficiencies and eating disorders can occur.
- Providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position. Early loss of teeth can lead to misalignment which can result in esthetic and functional issues and the need of otherwise preventable orthodontic treatment.
- Stimulating normal development of the facial bones and muscle.
- The development of normal speech.
- Contributing to your child’s self-esteem.
The main cause of early tooth loss is the famous cavity. Untreated small ones can grow fast depending on diet, hygiene and other factors. Small to medium size cavities may not cause any pain or symptoms and can only be detected through dental exam and x-rays. Those ones are usually fixed with a filling. Keep in mind that fillings are not a permanent solution cavities can recur under them. Therefore, the need of continuous care and checkups. Larger cavities may need a baby root canal treatment and a silver crown. They can cause pain and abscess which can lead to tooth loss. Which in turn can be traumatizing for a child.
Making those precious baby teeth last requires proper hygiene, proper diet, and regular visits to the dentist. Early detection is key.
Your child may be eligible for Healthy Smiles Ontario which is a government-funded dental program that provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services for children and youth 17 years old and under from low-income households.