Baby teeth may be temporary but they are still susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. We want your baby’s teeth to fall out when they are ready not because they have fallen victim to tooth decay! Children need healthy, strong teeth to speak, chew their food and have an adorable smile. One of the leading causes of tooth decay in infants can come from their favorite bottles.
What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay primarily occurs in the upper front teeth, but can affect the whole mouth if it goes untreated. The primary cause of tooth decay in general is poor dental hygiene and diets that contain a high-level of sugar. Infants are particularly susceptible to tooth decay and it often caused by high sugar drinks, including juice, in their baby bottles.
Baby bottle tooth decay can occur when a child is put to bed with a bottle or if they use their bottle as pacifier. Tooth decay is a disease that is caused when sugar promotes the proliferation of bacteria which in turn creates acids that eat away at the tooth. This bacteria is passed through saliva. Tooth decay can lead to cavities, gum disease and even tooth loss.
How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
There are several ways to prevent baby bottle tooth decay including,
- Try not to share saliva with the baby through by using the same feeding spoons or licking pacifiers.
- After each feeding remember to wipe your child’s gums with a clean washcloth or damp gauze pad.
- Brush your child’s teeth with a small (pea sized) amount of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3.
- Avoid putting anything but milk or formula in your child’s bottle. Don’t fill your child’s bottle with liquids like juice, soda, or Kool-aid.
- Never dip your child’s pacifier in honey or sugar
Oral health is something that should be instilled in your child from birth. Tooth decay is the just the first step down a murky road of oral discomfort. We recommend that you bring your child into the dentist after their first birthday and twice a year every year after that.