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Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Even though they are temporary, your child’s baby teeth are essential and susceptible to cavities. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come incorrectly. It’s important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their teeth for decades to come.

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

Many factors can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.

Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be given to the baby.

If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay. The good news is that decay is preventable.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

  • Try not to share saliva with the baby through the everyday use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
  • When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and a smear (or grain of rice sized amount) of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3.
  • Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from the ages of 3 to 6.
  • Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste—usually not before they are 6 or 7.
  • Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar, water, juice or soft drinks.
  • Infants should finish their bedtime and nap time bottles before going to bed.
  • If your child uses a pacifier, provide clean one—don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits.

To read the original article, click here.

Note: All content and media on the Elevate Dental Richmond website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

 

 

Services we mentioned:

General Dentistry

Children's Dentistry

 

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James Wong is a wonderful Dentist. The communication and patience through the procedure was first class.

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