Baby bottle tooth decay is a fancy term used to describe tooth decay for infants and young children.
Tooth decay can develop when the child comes into contact with sweetened liquids and sugars (usually in milk, formula, and juice) and the sugars remain on their teeth for a long period of time. Children are most at risk when they frequently use a pacifier that comes into contact with sugar.
The sugar causes the bacteria in the child’s mouth to grow and produce acids that harm their tooth enamel. Tooth decay typically affects the upper front teeth, but can affect the rest of the mouth as well. Even though infants and young children have temporary teeth, tooth decay prevention is important. Teeth help us to speak, to chew, and to smile. If your child has tooth decay, it could cause cavities, toothaches or infections, which can affect their ability to use their teeth for their basic needs such as eating and chewing.
How do I deal with baby bottle tooth decay?
In order to avoid baby bottle tooth decay, make sure you:
- Clean your baby’s teeth after each feeding with a washcloth or a piece of gauze
- Start brushing your child’s teeth without toothpaste as soon as their first tooth comes in
- Floss your child’s teeth once all their baby teeth have come in
- Never allow your child to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle
- Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in anything sweet before giving it to them
How can my dentist help?
A 123Dentist Community Professional can thoroughly examine your child’s teeth and let you know if there is anything that you should be concerned about. We recommend that your child have their first dental appointment by their first birthday so a dentist can carefully monitor their temporary and permanent teeth as they grow.
If you have any questions about baby bottle tooth decay, visit a 123Dentist location near you today!