Peter Ngai, DMD and Penny L. Phipps, DDS
6 McBride and Son Center | Chesterfield, Missouri 63005

My child damaged her baby teeth. Do I really need to fix them since they weren't her permanent teeth?

Baby teeth serve several very important purposes. Not only do they allow your child to chew food and speak properly, they also act as "space holders" for the permanent teeth your child will eventually develop. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, the other teeth will move slightly to compensate. When this happens, the permanent teeth are not able to grow in correctly and could come in twisted, crowded, or even behind other teeth. This sets up your child for uncomfortable teeth that are difficult to clean properly, additional risk for cavities and gum disease, and costly (and sometimes uncomfortable) orthodontic treatments to correctly realign the teeth.

Small problems can quickly turn into big problems. Any cavities your child develops should be treated or filled quickly before they grow. Left untreated, the decay can infect the root causing toothaches and gum pain and also potentially leading to premature loss of the tooth.

We prefer to practice minimally invasive dentistry, and we will always recommend the most conservative measure possible to fix the problem and, hopefully, preserve the tooth. If your child has baby teeth that are decayed, damaged, or missing, please call and make an appointment to have them seen. The sooner we begin treatment, the better the outcome.