It may be a waste of time sending children to the dentist to have fillings. The BBC reports on the opinion of 50 British dentists who attended a dental conference. They suggested it could be unnecessary to fill baby teeth. Many of the dentists said many young children go to the dentist when they don’t have to. This could be good news for kids who hate the dentist. Many children develop a fear of dentists because of fillings, injections and the sound of the drill. This can become a phobia and continue into adulthood. The BBC says: “Experts already know there is wide variation in care, which means that a young child with signs of tooth decay could have no treatment, a filling or the tooth pulled out depending on which dentist they attend.”
Dental decay is one of the most common childhood health problems. As soon as a baby's first teeth appear, they are at risk of decay. From as young as six months, a baby tooth could get “baby bottle decay”. Later on there are early childhood cavities. The American Dental Association says these can affect speech, communication, nutrition and quality of life. They say the good news is that decay is preventable. A dental expert, Dr Gail Topping, is currently researching what the best treatment is. She will look into fillings, improved dental hygiene, and the child eating fewer sugary things. She said dentists currently use their own judgment to decide what’s best for a child’s decayed teeth on a case-by-case basis.