Can Baby Teeth Get Cavities?

Curly-haired mother in a light gray sweater embraces her daughter who still has baby teeth while sitting on a couch

At Cary Family Dental, we want our patients to have healthy teeth at every age. The best way to ensure your child’s teeth grow healthy and strong is to follow a good oral hygiene routine at home, along with ensuring they get a professional cleaning and exam from our team twice a year. Today, we want to clear up some misconceptions about baby teeth to help parents better care for the oral health of their children.

Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?

Humans are diphyodonts, meaning that we have two successive sets of teeth. Typically, babies receive their first tooth by their first birthday. One by one, the other teeth begin to erupt until all 20 baby teeth have come in by age 3. Then, kids will lose their first tooth around age 6 and continue losing their baby teeth until they have 28 adult teeth by age 12 or 13. Although this first set of teeth isn’t permanent, it is still critical they receive proper care. Issues with baby teeth can carry over and negatively affect the health of the emerging permanent teeth. Moreover, healthy and fully functioning baby teeth allow your child to develop normal speech patterns and learn how to eat.

Can Baby Teeth Get Cavities?

Yes, baby teeth commonly get tooth decay and cavities. Decay occurs when the bad bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce an acidic byproduct, which gradually weakens the teeth’s protective enamel. Eventually, a hole or cavity indicates permanent enamel damage. If left untreated, cavities result in pain, bad breath, sensitive teeth, gum disease, infection, and the spread of decay.

How to Prevent Cavities

To keep cavities from damaging your child’s oral health, teach them to practice a good oral hygiene routine at home. They need to brush their teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and floss every day. You should also limit the amount of soda and sugary foods your child consumes, as a high sugar intake will increase their risk of cavities. Encourage them to consume plenty of water and a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy, nuts, fish, and lean protein. Additionally, bring them in for a professional cleaning every 6 months here at Cary Family Dental.

Schedule Your Child’s Checkup Today!

To ask our team any questions about how to properly care for your child’s teeth or to schedule their next appointment, contact our office today.

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