Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Need a Filling?

Curly-haired little boy holds a yellow skateboard and smiles against a pink wall

It’s a common misconception that the care of baby teeth is less important than adult teeth. Although baby teeth will be replaced by permanent adult teeth, keeping them healthy is a key component to setting the foundation for healthy permanent teeth, establishing proper dental habits, and developing functional patterns of speech and eating. Essential oral care includes brushing and flossing every day, keeping up with routine checkups and cleanings, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and receiving treatment if baby teeth get cavities. Read on to learn more about baby teeth and cavities!

Kids & Cavities

Cavities are a common dental problem in the pediatric population. In fact, 1 in every 4 children will have a cavity before the age of 5. A child’s risk of developing tooth decay and cavities increases if they lack proper dental hygiene (like daily flossing and brushing, and biannual dental visits) and if their diet largely consists of refined carbohydrates and sugary beverages (like white bread, crackers, chips, cookies, juice, and sports drinks). Poor dental hygiene and a diet high in sugar create an ideal environment for harmful oral bacteria to accumulate into a sticky film of plaque and produce acids that cause teeth to decay.

When Baby Teeth Need Fillings

Early-stage tooth decay can often be remineralized and reversed by daily brushing and flossing, using fluoride toothpaste, drinking fluoridated water, and eating a healthy diet. However, advanced tooth decay that has become a cavity, or a hole, in your child’s tooth indicates permanent damage. This will need to be cleaned out and repaired with a tooth-colored filling. If baby teeth with cavities aren’t treated with fillings, the tooth decay will continue to spread, leading to further weakening and damage of the tooth. This could even lead to premature loss of the tooth, which can disrupt healthy dental-related development. We want baby teeth to stay healthy and only fall out when they are ready, which will help initiate proper growth, alignment, and health of their permanent teeth.

How We Treat Tooth Decay in Children

At Storybook Smiles Children’s Dentistry, our team is extremely skilled and caring when it comes to kids’ smiles. Treating a cavity is fairly quick and simple, and we strive to help each of our patients feel safe and comfortable. If your child experiences dental anxiety or discomfort, we offer several gentle sedation options, including nitrous oxide, conscious sedation, intranasal sedation, and general anesthesia. With an individualized treatment plan dependent on your child’s needs, we’ll gently clean out any decay from their tooth and repair it with a safe restoration.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

Do you suspect that your child has a cavity? Some signs can include a severe toothache, persistent bad breath, and increased tooth sensitivity. To ensure your child has a smile that is healthy and cavity-free, bring them in for regular cleanings and checkups at Storybook Smiles Children’s Dentistry. At our Tyler pediatric dental practice, your child will receive high-quality care in a comfortable environment. Contact us today if you have any questions.


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