How Untreated Front Tooth Decay Could Impact Your Baby's Permanent Teeth

Posted on: 16 September 2016

When you notice the white tips of your baby's first teeth poking through his or her gums, you might not initially be too concerned about the threat of tooth decay. Unfortunately, some babies end up with permanent damage to their adult teeth within the first year of their lives, all because of preventable and avoidable front tooth decay. But what is front tooth decay, why does it occur and how can you protect your baby's teeth? Read through the following three points to get a better understanding of the critical earliest stages of your child's dental health. 

Understanding the Vulnerabilities of Baby Teeth

Your baby's erupting teeth come equipped with all of the necessary protections to keep out unhealthy bacteria. But, like any other teeth, they are still vulnerable to tooth decay, particularly when exposed to sugars. When babies and toddlers experience these cavities, it is known as front tooth decay. Many parents think that they can wait a year or two before taking their child to the dentist, but if these early cavities are left untreated, they can bloom into severe tooth decay that may require extracting the whole tooth. Once those baby teeth are gone, the adult teeth waiting above have nothing to guide them into place as they grow, increasing the likelihood that your child will need orthodontics later on. 

Reducing Your Child's Risk of Tooth Decay

If you're starting to panic at the thought of all your baby's teeth falling out, it may not be time to sweat just yet. The good news is that front tooth decay is preventable as well as treatable. The best way to help your child's teeth grow in healthy is to avoid giving your child sugary drinks like soda or juice. Although they tend to be popular with kids, sugary drinks are also a primary culprit in tooth decay. Similarly, never allow your child to fall asleep with a milk bottle still in his or her mouth; the pooled milk essentially submerges the teeth in a bacterial bath, leaving them open to attack. Give your child a bottle with just water in it before bedtime if it is a favorite soothing item. 

Having Your Baby's Teeth Examined Early 

Just as importantly, your baby should start seeing a kid dentist as soon as his or her teeth begin erupting. A dentist familiar with kids' dentistry will recognize potential issues before they have a chance to turn into disasters. If your child does develop a cavity, the problem tooth can be filled promptly, saving the tooth and providing a firm foundation for the adult tooth in waiting behind it. If your child is running a little behind on dental appointments, schedule an exam today to make sure that his or her teeth are growing as intended.