The Importance of Baby Teeth and How Stainless Steel Crowns Can Help Protect Them
When you think about your child’s baby teeth, do you view them as critical to their oral development? Many parents can be mistaken that they are not that important for their child’s long-term dental health since baby teeth fall out. This is an incorrect assumption. While these primary teeth eventually fall out, they play a vital role in the eventual eruption of your child’s adult permanent teeth. Protecting them is crucial, and when they suffer from advanced decay, a stainless steel dental crown can provide this. For parents in the Greensboro, North Carolina area seeking pediatric stainless steel crowns, they visit Dr. Sona Isharani and the friendly and helpful team at Triad Pediatric Dentistry.
More than just being necessary to the eventual eruption of their permanent teeth, your child’s baby teeth also play important roles in speech development and how they chew and digest food.
The Life of Your Child’s Baby Teeth
It is a common misconception that baby teeth are not actually in the mouth for long. On the contrary, baby teeth need to remain healthy and functional for several years before your child’s permanent teeth will begin to appear. The first baby tooth will typically occur in the age range of 6 months to a year, and by the time your child is between the age of two to three years old, all baby teeth will have come in. While most children start to lose baby teeth around the age of six, baby molars will remain until they are 12 to 13 years old. By doing your part in keeping your child’s baby teeth healthy through this time, you will increase the chances of their permanent teeth erupting in the proper position and minimize the risk that orthodontic treatment will be required later on.
Baby Teeth Are More Prone to Decay
Unlike permanent teeth, baby teeth are more prone to decay. This is because baby teeth have a thinner layer of enamel. Because the enamel of a baby tooth is not as thick, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the inner pulp portion of the tooth is larger and nearer to the surface, detecting decay early is critical to treatment. Because decay can spread through the enamel of a baby tooth quicker than a permanent tooth, your dentist will want to repair it with a filling at the first sign of decay so that more complex treatment can be avoided later.
Stainless Steel Crowns
If one of your child’s baby teeth does become decayed to the point where using a filling material will not prove effective, a dental crown may be the prescribed treatment. For adults, porcelain is a very popular choice. For children, however, stainless steel may be a better option. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends stainless steel crowns for children when a filling is insufficient to treat decay or if a baby tooth has undergone pulpal therapy (a root canal). Once all decay has been removed from your child’s tooth, their dentist will fit and cement a pre-made stainless steel crown over the tooth. Benefits of stainless steel crowns include:
- Durability at an affordable price
- Provides full coverage protection for your child’s tooth
- Minimal sensitivity
- Minimal need for re-treatment
- Higher success rate than metal fillings in children under the age of 4
If decay has reached the pulp of your child’s tooth, root canal therapy will likely be recommended before a crown can be placed.
Help Protect Your Child’s Baby Teeth
While there are some factors you will not be able to control, if you do your part in helping your child develop and maintain a proper oral hygiene routine at home, the risk of any sort of treatment, as we have described here, is minimized. The use of fluoride toothpaste will help strengthen the enamel of your child’s teeth. For children under three, brush with a smear of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. For children aged three to six, increase that to the size of a pea. Brush twice a day, and once teeth are touching, you can begin to floss.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can keep your child’s baby teeth healthy or if you think they may need a stainless steel dental crown, please call Dr. Sona Isharani today for an appointment at (336) 804-8668.