Maintaining the health of baby teeth is exceptionally important. Although baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent teeth but they fulfill several crucial functions in the meantime.
Baby teeth helps in speech production, help a child chew food correctly, maintain space for adult teeth, and prevent the tongue from posturing abnormally in the mouth. When baby teeth are lost prematurely, adjacent teeth shift to fill the gap, causing impacted adult teeth and the potential need for orthodontic treatment in the adult. This phenomenon can lead to impacted adult teeth, years of orthodontic treatment, and a poor aesthetic result.
Babies are at risk for tooth decay as soon as the first primary tooth emerges – usually around the age of six months.
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
The term “baby bottle tooth decay” refers to early childhood cavities, which occur in infants and toddlers. Baby bottle tooth decay may affect any or all of the teeth, but is most prevalent in the front teeth on the upper jaw.
If baby bottle tooth decay becomes too severe, the pediatric dentist may be unable to save the affected tooth. In such cases, the damaged tooth is removed, and a space maintainer is delivered to prevent malalignment of the remaining teeth.
Scheduling regular checkups with a pediatric dentist and implementing a good homecare routine can completely prevent baby bottle tooth decay.