Why Does My Child’s Baby Tooth Need A Filling?

It makes sense to repair a decayed permanent tooth. But many parents ask – why treat a baby tooth with a dental filling if it will eventually fall out? Maintaining healthy baby teeth is critical to the health and development of your child’s adult teeth. That’s why your trusted dentists and team at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos never spare any effort to keep young smiles healthy and sound. We are all about laying the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. 

What Are the Causes of Tooth Decay?

Just like adult teeth, baby teeth can develop decay due to sugary foods and beverages, frequent carbohydrate snacking, poor oral hygiene habits, and plaque and tartar buildup. Untreated cavities in your little one’s baby teeth can lead to pain, infection, difficulty eating, and potential complications affecting the permanent teeth developing under the baby teeth. 

Why Would Your Child’s Baby Tooth Need a Filling?

Repairing a decayed baby tooth with a dental filling will help lower your child’s risk of developing cavities in their permanent teeth. Moreover, primary teeth serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth developing behind the scenes, guiding them to come in the proper position when it’s time to erupt. When a tooth is lost prematurely due to tooth decay or damage, the neighboring teeth may shift and block the space the adult teeth need to come in the correct alignment. That often results in crooked or impacted teeth and the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. 

Repairing a cavity with a pediatric dental filling will prevent the decay from progressing to the inner pulp of the affected tooth. Deeper cavities may need more extensive treatments, such as pulpotomies and dental crowns. If tooth decay reaches the nerve, it can cause infection and even an abscess. An infected tooth can lead to severe pain and swelling for your child. In these situations, we may need to remove the affected tooth. 

An infection in a baby tooth that is untreated can not only damage the adult tooth developing below it but can also spread throughout the face. Severe dental infections can result in life-threatening illness and hospitalization. Even if your child has a small cavity in a baby tooth, you can’t wait for it to fall out on its own.

Healthy baby teeth serve more than an oral health function. They play a critical role in speech development, helping your child learn to form new sounds. They also help with chewing, ensuring your child can eat all the nutrients needed to grow healthy and strong and maintain healthy teeth and gums. 

What Is the Cavity Filling Procedure?

Depending on the size and location of the decayed tooth, we may numb the area with a local anesthetic. The next step is removing the decayed portions of the tooth and placing a tooth-colored filling made to match your child’s smile. Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos will do everything we can to keep your child as comfortable as possible throughout the filling process!

How Can You Prevent Cavities?

The best way to keep your little one’s pearly whites healthy is to maintain good oral hygiene practices. Encourage daily brushing and flossing and limit sugary foods and drinks. It’s also important to visit Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos for your child’s twice-yearly recall exams and dental hygiene appointments. We will monitor your child’s oral health and recommend any preventive or restorative treatments needed for long-term healthy, beautiful smiles. 

Dental Fillings Near Me in San Marcos, CA

If you suspect your child has a cavity, contact Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos today. We may recommend a dental filling to restore your child’s smile. Our accomplished dentists and dedicated team are committed to providing outstanding, gentle care to ensure our young patients enjoy healthy smiles for life. Call 760-798-2825 to schedule your little one’s appointment or complete the online appointment request form today