Should I Get A Cavity Filling For My Child’s Baby Tooth? What To Know

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Cavities happen. More than 50% of kids will get at least one cavity in a baby tooth. But do you really need to get a filling for your child’s baby tooth if they have a cavity? After all, their baby tooth is supposed to fall out eventually as it’s replaced by an adult tooth, right?

Not quite. Your child’s teeth are essential for their health, and this includes their baby teeth, too! In this blog from First Smiles Children's Dentistry, we’ll discuss the importance of treating cavities in baby teeth, and we’ll discuss both dental fillings and SDF, which is a drill-less alternative for cavity treatment in baby teeth. Let’s get into the details!

Cavities In Baby Teeth Are Serious And Require Proper Treatment

Cavities are a serious oral health issue in kids of all ages, and this includes cavities that happen in baby teeth. If you don’t receive treatment for your child’s cavity, the decay will only get worse. Eventually, their tooth could become infected. This causes serious pain, and usually requires Dr. Chris Ha to extract the damaged tooth. 

Once he extracts your child’s tooth, Dr. Ha will also need to place a space maintainer in the area to maintain the proper gaps between your child’s teeth. This is because your little one’s baby teeth are not usually meant to fall out until an adult tooth emerges. Their baby teeth act as “guides” and help maintain the proper spacing between their teeth as their adult teeth start to emerge. 

If you want to protect your child’s oral health, ensure the proper eruption of their adult teeth, and avoid costly and complicated dental treatment, it’s important to treat cavities as soon as you notice them. This is an important reason to bring your little one to First Smiles Children’s Dentistry for thier checkup every six months.

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) Is A Great Alternative To Dental Fillings

At First Smiles Children's Dentistry, we offer composite, tooth-colored dental fillings. In the filling process, Dr. Ha will clean and numb your child’s tooth, drill away any damaged enamel, and then repair their baby tooth with tooth-colored composite materials. This eliminates the decay and restores their smile.

However, we understand that fillings can be scary for kids, since they involve numbing shots and drilling. That’s why we also offer Silver Diamine Fluoride, known as “SDF” for short. SDF is a completely non-invasive treatment that’s a great alternative to dental fillings for baby teeth.

SDF is a mixture of ammonia, silver, fluoride, and water. When Dr. Ha brushes this mixture onto a decayed tooth, this mixture forms a solid barrier that kills bacteria and prevents further tooth decay. This process is completely non-invasive and takes only minutes. With regular reapplication during your child’s preventive visits, SDF can keep their tooth healthy until it’s ready to fall out and be replaced by an adult tooth.

The only drawback of SDF is that it does permanently stain the treated tooth and has to be reapplied from time to time as decay does not heal itself. Some of the tooth will turn a dark gray color permanently.  This is not a problem for baby teeth, since your child’s tooth will be replaced with an adult tooth at some point in the future, but will not be as aesthetically pleasing as a tooth-colored filling.   

Worried About Cavities? Come To First Smiles Children’s Dentistry Today!

Dr. Chris Ha is an experienced children’s dentist in Modesto, and our team is always accepting new patients. Whether you’re worried that your child may have a cavity or they're just overdue for a checkup, First Smiles Children’s Dentistry is here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (209) 343-3500 to schedule a consultation now and to be rest-assured of your little one’s good oral health in Modesto.

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