More Than Just Practice teeth
Deciduous teeth, AKA baby teeth play an important role in a child’s growing body. People often think that if a baby tooth has a cavity, “ Just take it out”. We, of course, believe in a holistic approach in treating decay in these tiny pearly whites. Deciduous teeth are quite different from their successors. For instance, the enamel is much thinner and the core of the tooth where the nerve and blood supply live is very close under that thin outer layer making them much more susceptible to becoming infected from decay.
So, why save a baby tooth when another tooth is going to replace it? One of the major functions of baby teeth is to hold space for developing permanent teeth. Having a missing baby tooth can cause the teeth around them to “shift” leading to misalignment of permanent teeth which can affect speech and lead to improper jaw development.
There are many molecular and histological events that take place in the natural process of shedding baby teeth. During this time the child’s body begins to resorb the baby tooth to have nutrients to form the permanent tooth. The cells that are responsible for the resorption are called odontoclasts.
There are times when a baby tooth cannot be restored and it is recommended that it be removed. In those cases it is important to hold the space with a small dental appliance until the permanent tooth comes in.
Proper nutrition, avoiding added sugars and using an electric toothbrush are a few simple things to do to maintain the health of your children’s teeth.