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Do Cavities in Toddler Teeth Need to Be Treated?

by | Jan 16, 2023

If you’re the parent of a toddler, you may be wondering ‘do cavities in toddler teeth need to be treated?’. In most cases, the answer is yes – cavities should be treated regardless of how young the child is. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of treatment before making a decision. In this post, we’ll take a look at why cavities in toddler teeth need to be treated and what your options are. We’ll also discuss some factors you should consider when making a decision about treatment.

Tooth Decay in Children

A 2014 report from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists revealed that by age 5, nearly 60% of children in the U.S. will have experienced some level of tooth decay. According to the same report, if you do not treat dental decay, it can lead to infection, trouble chewing, and malnutrition. Other research demonstrates that kids who have tooth decay often struggle in school because of the pain connected with the problem.

Why Fix Teeth That Will Fall Out Anyway?

Tooth decay is a disease that, unfortunately, can last a lifetime. It’s caused by bacteria and can be easily spread; if the baby teeth have severe decay, the permanent teeth can become damaged before they even come in.

Treatment can ensure that the toddler’s teeth are healthy and strong, which will carry over to their permanent teeth.

Problems That Cavities Cause in Children

Tooth decay can cause a range of problems for children, including trouble eating and drinking, speech difficulties, self esteem, and infection.

Nutrition: Poor oral health habits can stunt strong nutrition in children by causing eating to be painful and uncomfortable. When a child experiences pain while trying to eat, they will start to lose their appetite and affect their overall nutrition. Some healthy foods like apples, carrots, and celery are naturally hard, but if a child cannot consume them because of mouth pain, then they’re losing out on essential nutrients for their overall health.

Speech: Teeth play a role in how we speak, and if children have cavities which lead to teeth rotting and falling out, it could cause them to develop speech impediments. This would then affect the child’s ability to communicate properly, potentially leading to confidence issues when speaking in public or around others..

Self Esteem: Poorly cared-for teeth can lead to children thinking lowly of themselves. If they believe their smile or teeth are unhealthy or stained, they may start avoiding smiling and showing their teeth. This lack of confidence will have long-term effects on how they perceive themselves and socialize.

Spreading Infection: If left untreated, cavities will not only spread to other teeth but can also be passed on to others. Cavities are commonly thought of as being stagnant, however they are very much like other diseases and infections in that they either improve or worsen over time. It is important to treat cavities so that they do not destroy a tooth and cause even more problems down the line.

The Bottom Line

Cavities in toddler teeth should be treated as soon as possible to prevent infection and other long-term health issues. Treatment can vary depending on the severity of the decay and may include fillings, crowns, or other preventive measures. It’s important to make an appointment with a dentist if you’re concerned that your child may have a cavity so they can discuss their options and determine the best course of action. Taking care of your toddler’s teeth now will help ensure they remain healthy and strong in the future.


Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000