Feeding children from a bottle is as normal as adults eating with utensils. Many people know that children must transition from a bottle and will attribute this to bottle rot. However, bottle rot can be caused by more than just a bottle and can be detrimental in many ways to your child. Although the term bottle rot is a familiar one to many, clear information on what it is and how to avoid it can be murky. Here is some information to help you understand the ins and outs of bottle rot.
What is Bottle Rot?
Bottle rot is when a child’s teeth start to decay, usually from poor oral hygiene. The term specifically is pointing to rotting baby teeth and isn’t a term used in connection to adults. This often occurs in the upper front teeth, but can also affect the other teeth. If left untreated, bottle rot can cause tooth loss and eventually cause issues with a child’s development. Poor oral hygiene and the loss of baby teeth can hinder the baby learning to speak, eat properly, use their tongue properly, and even cause issues with their gag reflex.
How Do I Ensure My Child Doesn’t Get Bottle Rot?
The best way to ensure your child steers clear from bottle rot is to practice a good oral hygiene routine. Further, not letting them drink sugary drinks all the time, especially before bedtime, is vital. The number one cause of bottle rot is from sugary drinks. This is because a child usually likes to have a sippy cup or bottle to fall asleep with. The bottle will usually have juice, chocolate milk, or other beverages, which all have high sugar content. Sugar is one of the number one causes for bacteria growth in the mouth. This means, if a child goes to sleep with all that sugar still in their mouth, it’s a breeding ground all night long for bacteria to build up on their teeth.
If you’re going to allow sugary drinks, do so during the day and follow it up with water or a quick mouth rinse. Be sure your child has a consistent, daily oral hygiene routine. Since they can’t do it on their own, it’s up to the parents to ensure they’re covered. Never put a child to bed with a sugary drink. If they want a bottle or sippy cup, try to use water or another safe beverage instead.
It’s no secret that it can be hard to get our children to make changes, and it’s just easier to not push the matter. However, sometimes these choices are bad for their health. If your child is at risk for bottle rot, start making changes today and see a dental professional.