Tooth decay can have a significant impact on a child’s growth and development. Later in life, decay impacts adults on multiple fronts including the integrity of tooth structure, function, comfort and confidence in your smile.
Tooth decay (“cavity”) has many causes, including poor oral hygiene, drinking and eating too many sweets.
Baby teeth are “made” differently than adult teeth. It may take a few years for decay to form in permanent teeth however it can develop in only six months in a baby tooth. Decay can develop so quickly in a child that they often do not feel any pain until it is either extremely deep or infection has developed.
Young children with untreated decay are more likely to weigh less than their ideal weight. They may show decreased intellectual, emotional and physical development. Since cavities may be painful these children may experience problems sleeping, become introverted and shy, or develop poor eating habits.
Early detection and treatment, in any age group, are critical in lowering the risk of requiring invasive and costly dental treatment.