All About Pediatric Dental Crowns
Some of the most common questions we are asked are about baby teeth dental crowns. We offer zirconia, Sprig, and traditional composite crowns for aesthetic purposes and stainless steel crowns for molars. Here’s some more information on exactly what they are and why your child might need one.
Why Kids Need Baby Teeth Dental Crowns
It’s a common misconception that because baby teeth aren’t permanent, it doesn’t matter if they fall out early, get cavities, or aren’t taken care of. But in most cases, kids don’t start to get their permanent teeth until they are between 6 and 7 years old. They will have their baby teeth for quite some time. Baby teeth that aren’t taken care of can develop cavities, and those cavities can be painful and weaken the tooth to the point where it cracks or breaks into pieces. That’s why kids need to be taught to brush twice daily and floss daily from an early age.
What Causes Cavities
Cavities are holes in the teeth. Some cavities are small and can be fixed easily, while others are large and require more involved treatment. Those are the ones that can be painful. Cavities form when bacteria and plaque in the mouth attack the teeth. Plaque, which is the sticky film that people feel on their teeth when they wake up in the morning or have dry mouth, eats away the hard coating on teeth.
That leaves tiny, little openings in the teeth. Bacteria from food and drinks can then get farther into those tiny holes and start to eat away at the inner tooth. The bacteria will eat all the way down through the layers of the tooth until it reaches the core, or the pulp. As the hole in the tooth gets deeper, the tooth is more likely to crack or break when you chew something hard or bite into something.
How To Prevent Cavities
Ideally, children wouldn’t get cavities. But it’s difficult even for adults to avoid getting cavities, which means it’s unlikely that kids won’t get a cavity or two in their baby teeth. Kids should be brushing their teeth in the morning and at night with a toothpaste for kids that contains fluoride, and the dentist can also apply sealants to your child’s teeth to help prevent cavities. A dental evaluation and baby teeth X-rays will help the dentist determine if your child needs fluoride treatments or sealants on their baby teeth to help avoid developing cavities.
How To Fix Cavities
A dentist can sometimes fix a cavity before it becomes a serious problem by cleaning out the bacteria and placing a regular filling in the tooth. But if the tooth is cracked or broken, the dentist will have to put a crown on it. A crown protects what is left of the tooth by reinforcing the structure of the tooth and keeping the tooth from breaking off. Since it goes over the entire tooth, the crown may be visible if it’s close to the front of the mouth. That’s why at We Make Kids Smile, we offer baby teeth dental crowns that mimic the appearance of teeth. Your child’s smile will look the same with zirconia or Sprig crowns. Strong stainless steel crowns can be put on molars to make sure that they don’t break.
Why put a crown on a baby tooth?
Even though it might seem strange at first to take the time to put a crown on a baby tooth, there are reasons why crowns are necessary. It’s much better for the child’s future dental health and the appearance of their smile to put on a crown on a broken or cracked tooth instead of just extracting it.
Leaving gaps between the child’s teeth can cause their permanent teeth to come in misaligned, which can lead to the child needing orthodontic work. Gaps in the teeth can also interfere with the growth and shape of the child’s jaw. A crown is a better option because it preserves the spacing of the child’s teeth while also giving them a great natural-looking smile until their permanent teeth are ready to come in.
Preventive and Restorative Treatment Under One Roof
At We Make Kids Smile, we want your children to have their best smiles right from the start. It’s true that their permanent teeth will eventually replace their baby teeth, but in the meantime, it’s still important to keep up with their pediatric dental care and protect those baby teeth.
Call us today to make an appointment to have your child’s dental health assessed or to schedule a professional cleaning. And if you have questions about your child’s dental development or oral health, we’d be happy to answer those for you!