I get a lot of questions from parents when I recommend treatment on baby teeth. They usually wonder why we want to fix the baby teeth when they are just going to fall out eventually anyway. As it stands, there are actually a lot of good reasons to want to fix baby teeth.
#1: Baby teeth hold the space for the permanent teeth. If these teeth are lost too early there won’t be space for the permanent tooth to come in and it will either be impacted or come in in the wrong direction leading to terrible crowding. Severely crowded teeth can be very difficult and expensive to fix when the child is older.
#2: Cavities develop rapidly in baby teeth – Enamel is very thin in baby teeth compared to permanent teeth. If we don’t fix these cavities they can very quickly become large cavities that cause pain and infection. Infection can be dangerous. There have been many cases of dental infections that have gotten out of control and the child died.
#3: Some baby teeth will be there until they are 12 years old! Many parents don’t realize that kids still have baby teeth at that age. If they develop a cavity at age 5 or 6, you can bet that cavity will become very large leading to loss of the tooth way too early if not treated.
#4: Teeth, especially front ones, are critical for developing proper speech patterns.
#5: Missing teeth make it very difficult to chew food. Children have far fewer surfaces to chew on in the back than adults do and this can impact their nutrition. I always find it very sad when I see a child who has lost multiple molars in the back and must go without them for years.