May 14, 2020
Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic infectious disease among children? Unfortunately, it can start earlier than you might think – in fact, as soon as the first tooth comes in! And while you may underestimate the importance of baby teeth, the truth is that they’re crucial to your child’s health and well-being and even affect the development of the adult teeth. To keep your child’s smile healthy from the start, read about what a kid’s dentist wants you to know about a condition called “baby bottle tooth decay.” Although it can be devastating to your child’s oral health, the good news is that it’s completely preventable.
What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Many parents aren’t aware that putting their child to bed with a bottle each night can cause rapid, severe cavities on their front teeth. Often containing something with sugar in it such as milk, formula or juice, this essentially means their teeth are “soaking” in a sugar bath for many hours.
Sadly, it doesn’t take long for this to almost completely destroy a child’s teeth. Their tooth structure can be entirely lost all the way to the gumline, which requires extracting the remaining root structure and/or additional major dental work.
But, again, keep in mind that by avoiding this one bad habit at bedtime (and adding a few good habits), it’s easy to help your child stay cavity-free.
How Can You Prevent Cavities In Your Child?
- Use a pacifier instead of a bottle to soothe your child or help them go to sleep. If a bottle is truly necessary, fill it with plain water.
- Keep dietary sugar to a minimum and never put high-sugar choices like juice, soda or sugar water in your baby’s bottle.
- Gently wipe your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings. When the first tooth comes in, use a teething toothbrush and a light smear of children’s toothpaste to gently brush.
- See a kid’s dentist for a checkup by age 1. You’ll get specific cavity-prevention tips that are personalized for your child’s needs, make sure their teeth are developing normally, and also have a chance to ask any questions.
Finally, if you have any concerns about baby bottle tooth decay or any other issues, don’t hesitate to call a pediatric dentist. They’re always available to provide tips, tricks, or any information you need to help your child maintain a happy, healthy smile!
About the Author
Dr. Angelica Rohner is an award-winning pediatric dentist who firmly believes that oral health is important from the very start. To help parents lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles, she always provides them with valuable information about cavity prevention and many other topics. If you’d like to know more about baby bottle tooth decay or have any questions, she can be reached via her website.
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