According to an experienced kids dentist in NJ, Dr. Mila Cohen of True Dental Care for Kids & Teens far too many parents ignore tooth decay in their kids’ baby teeth. In fact, 42 percent of American children have or have had decay in their primary teeth, commonly called baby teeth. Even though your children eventually lose those teeth to make room for permanent teeth, they’re hardly disposable parts.
Just like you take your children to your pediatrician for checkups and treatment when they’re hurt or sick, take them to a children’s dentist in NJ for regular cleanings and restorative treatments when necessary. That may mean your child needs white crowns on his baby teeth to preserve his dental health and set the stage for future healthy dental development.
Baby Teeth: Tiny, But So Important
Besides giving your child a smile that melts your heart, baby teeth have several vital functions, including:
Baby teeth help your child eat. As he starts to eat solids, strong baby teeth help him chew his food thoroughly. Food that’s well chewed is easier to digest, ensuring that your child gets all the available nutrients from each meal.
They help your child speak. Think about what your mouth really does when you talk. Your tongue moves around, and your teeth help keep it in place as you pronounce certain words. As your child learns to talk, he needs strong, healthy primary teeth to help he can express himself clearly.
They hold space for permanent teeth. Primary teeth become loose and get pushed out as permanent teeth come in. If primary teeth are lost or removed too early, the permanent teeth behind them may come in crooked. It’s not just a cosmetic issue. Crooked or crowded teeth can make eating more difficult. They can be harder to thoroughly clean, too, which can lead to more dental problems down the road.
Primary teeth help him communicate. You already know that your child’s smile is precious to you, but it’s one of his earliest means of communication. Through smiling and having that smile reciprocated by his family and others, he begins to make positive connections with the people in his world.
They help him build relationships. As he gets older and starts day care or school, a smile is often the first indication that someone is friendly. That realization is the first step toward building friendships. If your child’s teeth hurt or he feels self-conscious about them, he may smile less often, and miss opportunities to create positive relationships.
Patching Things Up
When your child gets a cavity you need to take him to a kids dentist in NJ to determine how to fix things up. Based on the size, placement, and depth of the cavity — as well as the extent of the decay — your dentist determines the best restorative treatment for the tooth. Restorative treatments include:
Stainless steel or white crowns for primary baby teeth
Removing the tooth, which is usually done only as a last resort, when there’s too much decay to make a restorative treatment possible
When your child has a cavity that requires a pulpectomy or a pulpotomy — or there’s concern about decay spreading to neighboring teeth — your kids dentist in NJ repairs the tooth with a crown following the procedure. A crown covers the entire surface of the tooth, protecting it from further decay and providing a barrier between it and the teeth next to it.
True Dental Care for Kids & Teens
255 Brunswick St, Ste 5
Jersey City, NJ 07302