Catching a glimpse of that first tiny baby tooth poking through your child's gums is an exciting moment as a parent. While there is no denying that their little grin is adorable, it is also important to keep in mind that baby teeth play an important role in paving the way for those critical permanent teeth.
Kids are hard on their teeth, and something as simple as falling can lead to chips or broken teeth that require repairs. Baby teeth are also thinner than adult teeth, and this means that decay can reach the inner pulp faster and cause problems such as pain and infection.
When a baby tooth is broken or decayed, parents often ask why it isn't possible to just have them pulled. Although extractions are an option, stainless steel crowns are often recommended as a healthier alternative for preserving the important role that baby teeth play in your child's oral health.
Prevent Teeth Shifting Out of Alignment
It is true that your child's baby teeth will fall out as they are replaced by their permanent teeth. However, a tooth that falls out early can create serious problems in your child's mouth. This is because baby teeth serve as placeholders that keep teeth aligned until the permanent ones come in.
When a baby tooth is lost before the permanent tooth is expected to come in, dentists recommend using space maintainers to keep teeth from shifting out of place. Using a stainless steel crown to strengthen a weakened tooth is an effective way to prevent this problem.
Avoid the Need for Retreatment
The thin enamel on baby teeth creates problems for doing successful fillings. Often, decay returns around a filling, and it quickly moves into the sensitive pulp. Large fillings also place a tooth at risk for breakage that requires further treatment.
Since young children sometimes struggle with lengthy dental procedures, it is often best to choose a long-term solution. Properly placed stainless steel crowns can last until the baby tooth falls out in many instances, which reduces your child's treatment plan for that tooth to one or two visits.
Reduce the Possibility of Sensitivity
One of the biggest benefits of a stainless steel crown is that it acts like a shell to cover the remaining tooth. This means that your child is less likely to experience sensitivity when they eat hot, cold or sweet foods.
Keep Dental Care Affordable
It is also common for parents to ask why we recommend stainless steel crowns when other types are available. Choosing the right type of crown for a child is a complicated process, and your child's dentist will consider factors such as their age and the location of their tooth to make the decision.
When a stainless steel crown is recommended, it is often done so because this type of material is known for its longevity. Depending upon your insurance, this may also be the type that is covered. Since it is less expensive and long lasting, it is often the go-to choice for baby teeth that fall out later.
Protect Your Child's Ability to Eat and Speak Normally
Once placed, a stainless steel crown helps your child's tooth to function normally again. Therefore, they can eat as they wish without worrying about breakage. Keeping baby teeth in your child's mouth also helps them learn how to speak properly so that they are less likely to experience speech issues.
At Kids of OZ Dental, it is our goal to make sure that parents understand the reasons for our treatment recommendations along with all potential options that are available. Give us a call with any questions that you have about your child's dental care.