If you have ever wondered or even dared to ask your child's pediatric
dentist this question, "But these are baby teeth, wont they just fall out?
Why do we need to treat them?"; you are not alone! And you should never
feel embarrassed to ask these questions, after all you are not expected to
know everything there is to children's oral health and would rather rely on
the "expert" to clarify these things!
Let's start with what causes cavities? Cavities or "Dental Caries" as you
may often hear the dentist say it is an infectious disease caused by "sugar
bugs" aka bacteria. Bacteria break down the sugars in the child's meal and
snacks into acids that cause breakdown of the tooth enamel causing
cavities. Frequent snacking on carb snacks and sipping on sweetened drinks
favors an acidic saliva which promotes the growth of cavity causing
bacteria in a child's mouth.
This is a rapidly progressing "silent" condition especially in kids. When
you can see cavities with your own eyes, it is usually already very
advanced and needs urgent and at times emergent attention. Fortunately or
unfortunately, in most children it does not cause any pain until it is
really advanced and even then the child can be pain free. Deceptive, isn't?
Well the good news is, the pediatric dentist will be able to "catch it" no
matter how "sneaky" this disease tries to be and the sooner the kids start
seeing a pediatric dentist the more likely they are to be cavity free or at
least get them diagnosed at a much earlier stage if they develop. If left
untreated, cavities not only get larger but can also cause an infection of
the tissues surrounding the teeth which often manifests as an abscess. From
time to time we see these abscesses cause facial swelling which indicates
the infection is spreading into the face, to the eye and in fatal cases can
spread to the brain through the blood stream. Also, the permanent teeth
that are developing under the baby teeth are at risk of malformation or
abnormal development if the baby teeth cavities are left to grow!
So the bottom line is very easy, very simple. Remember to schedule your
cute little one for his/her 1st dental visit by their first birthday and
every 6 months after that to ensure a life time of healthy and beautiful
Have any teeth related questions? Call our office at 661-388-0499 and
schedule a free consultation appointment. * (conditions apply!)