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What You Need to Know About Tooth Decay in Children


Baby teeth may be far brighter and whiter than their permanent replacements but did you know that they’re more susceptible to tooth decay? This is because the outermost protective layer of baby teeth (known as the enamel) is not as strong or resilient as the enamel surrounding your adult teeth.

When one of your primary teeth develops a cavity, the infection can spread quite fast. The decay will spread deep in to the tooth, reaching the nerve. This will give way to a very painful abscess that can potentially spread to the adjoining primary teeth, or even the permanent teeth below.

If your child is suffering from an infected tooth, you may be wondering what the best approach would be. Pull it out or have it filled? Since it does fall out either way, would it be harmful to extract it ahead of time? Allow us to answer these questions for you.

The approach we take depends on how much longer your child would need their baby tooth for. If natural fallout wouldn’t occur for a few more years, then removing the tooth might alter their smile. For example, the teeth next to this gap will tilt into it, creating misalignment.  In the long run, this can lead to other dental concerns and the need for orthodontic appliances.

We usually recommend routine checkups in order to intercept the cavity as early as possible.  After which, the tooth decay can be treated with a small white filling. This treatment is minimally invasive and safe to carry out for children. This option allows your tooth to fall out as it normally would without external interference.

In the case of severe tooth decay where removing the tooth is unavoidable, our dentist can arrange for a temporary space maintainer to ensure proper alignment takes place as the years go by.

Schedule your child’s appointment with Port Melbourne Dental today and we’ll intercept these minor dental issues before they become severe concerns!