Is it really necessary for baby teeth cavities to be filled?

[deleted account] ( 12 moms have responded )

I just took my 5 1/2 yr old to the dentist and found out he's got several cavities. Not sure how - he's not big on sweets or juices and brushes pretty regularly. Is it really necessary for the cavities to be filled? They're not bothering him in the least bit. Obviously we're more aware and can be even more preventative at this time - he will eventually lose all of these teeth. Would love to hear thoughts!!! Thanks!

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Anika - posted on 11/03/2013

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I took my then 4yr old daughter to the pediatric dentist which told me she had to have a couple of teeth removed and fillings on a few others. We done that and it was all ok, however 2 yrs later she has to have 2 more removed, one of them has an infection and she also is putting protective fillings on her 6yr old molars. I hate to have to break it to my doughter that we have to do it again (she did not like the needles in her hand at the hospital). Its good to hear all the PRO advice becaouse both my husband and my brother think they are only giving this advice so they can make the money.

Meghan - posted on 04/29/2014

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Hi, I think it can be important but think too that many folks back when didn't see the dentist and was just fine. My son is three and has one cavity but we decided not to have it filled because it will fall out. I know many will disagree with me but why pay alot of money when the tooth will eventually fall out. And yes my son gets his teeth brushed and flossed regularly.

Amy - posted on 04/09/2010

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If you don't fill the cavity it continues to grow. It can continue on until it hits the root and then there's major pain and not to mention a root canal for a five year old. The cavity can spread to his permanant teeth that are coming in and cause them to come in with cavities and then you have to have to them fixed.

Here's my story. I took my 2 year old in to have her teeth checked for the first time and they found a cavity in one of her back teeth. Because she wouldn't sit still and screamed the entire time the dentist just sent us on our way. For two years as long as it wasn't bothering her he didn't do a thing about it. When she was five we went to a different dentist and found out that not only had the cavity continued to grow it ate away her entire tooth it was barely hanging on in her mouth and the two teeth around it had huge cavities. We had to take her to a specialist that could put her asleep to do all the major dental work.

A - posted on 01/11/2015

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hi there :) I'm a dentistry student. Naturally, there is a proper time for the baby tooth to fall out because of the erupting permanent tooth. Sadly, there are various factors that may lead to early extraction of the baby tooth but AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, the dentist wouldn't consider removing the baby tooth unless your child is BOTHERED or UNCOMFORTABLE (example pain or sensitivity because of cavity) with it. Some dentists would just leave it to that if it is not painful BUT still under close supervision and the dentist will try to preserve the baby tooth until such time that it will have to fall out or to be remove because the primary tooth/baby tooth serves as a guide for the permanent tooth to erupt at its PROPER / IDEAL position that is why the need to restore/ fill the baby tooth is necessary. The dentist would have an idea as to what your child's future teeth alignment or arrangement would be, based on that baby teeth and it is important for prevention of severe orthodontic problems aside from infection problems that may arise. I agree that it depends on the dentist-patient-relationship to work and trust each other. As they say, if you are not comfortable with some issues, it is better to ask the professionals than to conclude. Personally, I want to reach out to those people who cannot understand fully about oral health. I know I am just a student, but through the years that I've been studying, I can say that dentistry is a passion to serve people, though it depends on the person's own passion as to what extent he / she may serve :)

Karen - posted on 04/09/2010

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hi amber- from what i understand , they fill baby teeth because if they don't the cavity could get worse and possibly get infected, which of course would lead to pain and possibly cause a problem with eating. unless the teeth that have cavities are already loose and about to fall out, i would probably consider having them filled. good luck, hth!

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Sarwar - posted on 12/23/2014

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I along with my wife never had any cavities filled neither my parents and all my brother sand sisters ,we are above 40 years and more there never been any cavities that needed to be filled nor any pain
But i am darn sure if i was to drop by dentiset ithey would scare me to death to make extra bucks thats whatnthey are tought
I ven dont brush regularally ,. .....,what are you thinking ?

Carla - posted on 04/09/2010

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There is a special filling after the child's teeth has fallen out and grown back. It's a barrier that keeps the teeth from getting cavities as they get older. My son has never had a cavity even at age 23. If the teeth are loose like Amber said then just let it fall out and it will be ok. But maybe the doctor may want to pull it so that it will not cause an infection. remember that an infection in your mouth as an adult can cause severe problems in your body as a whole. Imagine what an infection can do to a baby's body!
Take care.

Brianna - posted on 04/09/2010

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My dad is a dentist and it is really important to have this taken care of. The biggest thing is that the cavity can actually spread to the adult tooth under it and then when it emerges it could be rotten. Then your child will need something like a crown to replace the decayed tooth, which is far more expensive then a filling.

Brenda - posted on 04/09/2010

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My daughter(6) has Downs, and has 4 cavities in her molars. Her pediatric dentist is watching them, every six months. He doesn't want to do anything to her teeth until she's about 8, and then do a whole lot at once, perhaps under anesthesia. This makes sense to me, She will need to get ready for braces at that time as well. I trust this dentist. I trust a more conservative approach.

I had a friend whose dentist filled their cavities with a "temporary filling", and then they had to go back for the "permanent filling" in a few months. Hello? Not with MY kids. It's really best to find a dentist you trust, and let him make the decision. The child's temperament has alot of impact on that decision. My son, at a very young age, was so good in the dentist's chair that we were able to seal all his molars so he would never get cavities. My daughter---just allowed her first cleaning at age 6. She is very different.

It's my understanding that letting a cavity get too big can damage the permanent tooth under it. And of course, there's the risk of infection if it gets too big.

Gwen - posted on 04/09/2010

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Rotten teeth can cause infections and damage to the adult teeth growing in underneath. He should have the cavities filled to prevent pain or permanent damage. Be sure you are helping him brush his teeth at LEAST once a day. We need to take care of our kids' teeth. They need them for life!

Leanne - posted on 04/09/2010

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hi amber... not to mention if the cavity is on the outside of the tooth it can start to decay the ones next to it too... sending brave vibes to your little one! good luck!!

Sandra - posted on 04/09/2010

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On top of infection the cavity can also cause your child's adult teeth to become brittle and therefore be more likely to get cavities.

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