Tooth Decay caused by Baby Bottles
Even if you don’t have any children of your own, there are children in our lives that we cherish – nephews, nieces, neighbors, grandchildren, a friend’s child, etc. It is important for everybody to realize that tooth decay is a real problem that affects kids.
Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Did you know that more children suffer from tooth decay today more than ever? Tooth decay is caused by the interaction of bacteria in the mouth with sugars and starches found in many of today’s food and beverages. The interaction creates an acid that dissolves tooth enamel. If left unchecked, baby teeth can become unnecessarily painful caries.
Don’t Let Babies Fall Asleep With Their Bottles
A typical bedtime sight is a sleeping baby with a bottle filled with milk or juice in its mouth. As innocent as this may sound, the sugars from the bottle’s contents are actually harmful to the baby. Milk and juice contain a lot of sugars that interact with bacteria in a baby’s mouth creating harmful acids. If the liquid is allowed to pool in the mouth, the enamel of their teeth slowly dissolves overnight.
This can result in painful caries and may require stainless steel crowns. Because a child’s teeth are not fully developed, they are more vulnerable to decay below the gum line. The decay can be so serious that dental surgery might be necessary.
As early as now, you could teach your child to drink water in their baby bottle during naps. Here are a few tips you might find useful:
- Wipe your child’s teeth and gums with a wet cloth or gauze after their meal
- Train them to use sippy cups by the time they’re a year old
- Avoid continuous nursing during late evenings
- Restrain from dipping pacifiers into any sweet substance
- Only put milk or formula in baby bottles
- If you insist on giving them sweet liquids, give them diluted juice in a sippy cup
- Regularly check your child’s oral health
- Brown spots around the gum line is an early indication of tooth decay
The video below offers other suggestions:
Baby teeth are important
It is a common misconception that baby teeth are not important. Baby teeth may fall out but they also act as a template for permanent teeth. If baby teeth are removed too early, the spaces for incoming permanent teeth become jeopardized. Infection caused by exposed gums can cause serious illnesses. It helps children learn to chew properly. Not only does chewing tear and break down food but also help in digestion which affects a child’s development.
Baby teeth allow children to communicate clearly which is vital for their social lives. Pain caused by tooth decay can really hinder a child from experiencing life. They are important for a child to feel confident when expressing themselves. Don’t forget to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day, floss them once a day and visit your dentist every six months. Taking preventative measures is better than any cure.
If You Have Questions, Please Ask
Think about the children you know and kindly help every parent understand this important topic. If you have any questions about dental health for your child, or for a child close to you, ask our team about it. You can leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page.
You can also learn more about baby bottle tooth decay from this ADA webpage.Leave a reply →