Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Affect Permanent Teeth?

Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Affect Permanent Teeth?

Is it common for kids to get cavities?

There’s always the question of whether baby teeth have an important role, or if they even matter, and if they need to be fixed or not. There was a time when people believed that baby teeth did not require fixing because they would eventually fall out anyways. Luckily, today we know how important these baby teeth are, and how neglecting them can cause a lifetime of trouble. They’re not just for eating or aesthetics, but they also play an important role in the growth & development of the jaw as well as the development of the adult teeth at the time of their eruption.

About one-in-four kids between the ages of two and five already have cavities. We all know that we want the best for our kids and do everything that we can to keep them safe and healthy, but sometimes having a toddler makes this a little bit challenging. At times we let them skip a well-needed brushing because they run away or freak out at the site of a toothbrush, or even fall asleep before they’ve had a chance to brush their teeth. Neglecting to brush and floss twice a day can be one of the reasons why kids tend to get so many cavities and why it is so important  we do our best to ensure that those little baby teeth are getting the attention they deserve!

What are the main causes of cavities in children?

One thing that we must keep in mind is, we as parents always get so happy that our little ones have been snacking all day, eating, and getting all the nutrients that they should get in their bodies. However, it is important to keep in mind that constant snacking can also cause a lot of cavities. Every time that we eat it makes our mouth acidic, and it takes our saliva about two hours to neutralize and get rid of that acid.

If you are constantly eating, your mouth stays constantly acidic and at times can result in a lot of cavities, even if you’re brushing and flossing. Once this damage is done, however,  we can’t just simply pull out the decayed baby teeth, with the mindset that they most likely fall out anyways. In fact, pulling or extracting those baby teeth can cause a lot of problems, as they are the placeholders for the adult teeth; without those placeholders, the teeth around could drift into that space and interfere with the growth of the adult teeth. Additionally, this can cause problems with the growth of the jaw & even speech development. Thus, fixing and restoring damaged baby teeth is very important.

Another thing to consider is that once our kids enter the early preschool and elementary school age, they no longer only have baby teeth, but instead have a mixture of baby and adult teeth. This will last from about age 6 until around age 12-13  when the adult teeth are fully grown in. During this time if there is any cavities on the remaining baby teeth the bacteria in those cavities can make the newly formed adult teeth much more susceptible to getting cavities.

How can I prevent my child from getting cavities?

As mentioned above, children can get cavities in numerous was such as; snacking too much, too many carbohydrates, or from the natural acidity in the mouth. A common myth is that cavities are only formed from eating chocolate, candy, and other sweet stuff. Cavities can be caused by almost any simple carbohydrates or carbs, such as crackers, chips or pretzels. As soon as they hit our saliva, they get broken down to sugar and can have the same effect as candies and cookies. This is why it is crucial to ensure that children are brushing twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is the only thing that treats the spots on the teeth that are getting demoralized and weak and causes them to get stronger, as well as provides a little bit of a neutral biasing factor toward the acid. Brushing & flossing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste plays a major role in preventing cavities.

It is important to remember bacteria that cause cavities in our kids baby teeth, can continue to infect their gums, and that can cause a lot of problems even after the baby teeth fall out, this is why it is important to have those baby teeth repaired & restored. Call 972-987-0787 or visit to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to seeing your healthy smile!