Posted on: 18 August 2018
Sadly, tooth decay is a fairly common occurrence in small children. Decay is particularly prevalent in children who still drink from a baby bottle. This is referred to as baby bottle tooth decay, and it is a major problem for many young children. The following is some information about this type of decay and what you can do to prevent it:
How Does Baby Bottle Decay Occur?
Baby bottle decay is a condition that occurs when the child's teeth are exposed to sugars for an extended amount of time. Sugar is very prevalent in formula, milk, and juice, which are the most common substances used in baby bottles. The decay is primarily found in the front top and bottom teeth because that is where the liquid stays as the child drinks from the bottle. However, decay can happen in any other teeth. When you put the child to bed with a bottle of liquid other than water, you risk allowing the sugar from the liquid to sit on the teeth for a prolonged period of time.
How Can You Prevent Baby Bottle Decay?
It is fairly easy to prevent the likelihood of bottle decay in your child. The best thing you can do is brush the child's teeth every day. As soon as you see your child's teeth start to come through the gum line, you should begin brushing. You can use a very small toothbrush or even a soft washcloth to clean the teeth at least twice a day. You do not need toothpaste. Simply cleaning the teeth with clean water will help prevent decay.
Also, avoid putting anything in a baby bottle that contains sugar, unless it is baby formula or breast milk your child uses as a primary food source. Juice, milk, and other sugary drinks will sit on the front of the teeth for a longer time as opposed to a cup because a child tends to nurse from a bottle over a long period of time.
If your child still needs a bottle for soothing purposes, only put water inside. Try to avoid putting the baby to sleep with a bottle of formula unless you are able to wipe the teeth down immediately afterward. Once your baby falls asleep, that sugar will sit on their teeth for a long time and the bacteria will quickly multiply.
If it is possible to break the habit of soothing bottle use and your child is past the point of drinking formula or breastmilk as his or her main food source, try to do so. It will help prevent a lot of potential decay in your child. Contact a pediatric dental clinic near you for more information.Share