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LeBlanc & Associates Dentistry for Children: Encouraging Great Habits!

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Q: What is the point of fixing a baby tooth if it’s going to fall out eventually? Why can’t we just pull it?

A: Primary teeth are important for several reasons. They play a vital role in helping children develop as they learn to chew and speak. They are also important placeholders for permanent teeth. Premature loss of a primary tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift, which leads to crowding. When a tooth has a cavity, that means harmful bacteria is present. If left alone, that bacteria has the potential to make its way to the pulp or nerve chamber of the tooth, which can cause a dental abscess or infection. Dental radiographs help us see how deep or large a cavity is so that we can recommend the best course of treatment. By restoring primary teeth, we are removing or stopping the harmful bacteria from spreading, so that your child’s baby teeth can remain in their mouth until they normally naturally exfoliate. If a primary tooth does have to be removed prematurely, we will often recommend placing a metal space maintainer, which will keep surrounding teeth from shifting.

Q: What are your top tips for cavity prevention?

A: Brush twice daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste, especially before bed. Floss once daily to disturb bacteria between teeth that could cause cavities.

Avoid sticky snacks like fruit snacks, dried fruit, or chewy candies. These types of foods are not easily rinsed away from between the teeth or from the grooves of teeth and provide a constant food source for harmful bacteria that could cause cavities. Opt for fresh fruit, cheese, vegetables or nuts. The same goes for drinks. Minimize consumption of sugary or acidic drinks like soda, juice or common sports electrolyte drinks that can lower the pH in the mouth, softening tooth enamel and increasing chances for decay. Water is the best drink choice for dental health.

See your dentist for regular six-month checkups, cleanings and X-rays. Knowledge and catching potential issues early are key to prevention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael LeBlanc, DDS

Overland Park | 14420 Metcalf Ave | 913.387.3500
Prairie Village | 8226 Mission Road | 913.378.9610
Olathe | 15151 S. Blackbob Road | 913.764.5600
Kansas City | 1601 N. 98th Street #104 | 913.299.3300
West Olathe | 11102 S. Noble Drive | 66061 913.353.9600

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