Why are baby teeth important?

My 4-year-old needs fillings? Why don’t we just let them fall out, or pull them if they bother him? Seems logical. Why put the youngster through the trouble of having his teeth filled if the adult teeth will come in to replace the bad baby teeth later?

There are many reasons why baby teeth should be filled and repaired until they fall out naturally. The first reason is that your child needs his baby teeth to eat comfortably. If an untreated cavity in a baby tooth becomes infected and has to be pulled, your child may have to wait as long as eight years until the adult tooth replaces it. During the time the baby tooth is prematurely missing, the other teeth will shift and grow into the wrong areas and the adult teeth will usually come in crooked. By losing these "natural" growing braces, your child may need "artificial" braces from the orthodontist later.


Finally, untreated cavities that cause teeth to be infected will cause your child much more pain than having the tooth filled. To help avoid any preventable dental problems, introduce your child to a dentist who is good with children by age two.