Do you know about “baby bottle tooth decay”? Baby bottle tooth decay is a term that pediatric dentists use to describe decay that develops on baby teeth even as they are erupting. Baby bottle tooth decay is the result of young toddlers that are beginning to develop teeth and are often put to bed with a bottle, sippy cup or pacifier. Even when given milk, tooth decay will occur. Bacteria is always present in the mouth. Therefore you should never fuel the bacteria by giving a child milk or juice as they go to bed. Even pacifiers can contain remnants of sugar from earlier in the day. It is always best to never put your child to sleep using a bottle, sippy cups or pacifier. Smile Reef would like to share more about baby bottle tooth decay and why parents need to be aware and help combat this common problem.
Does Bottle Rot Affect Permanent Teeth?
Many babies will sleep better when they have a bottle, sippy cup or pacifier to suck on. For many babies it is relaxing and natural to have something in their mouth as they fall asleep. Many parents give in to their baby’s desires and let them have their little comforts. However, that is a major mistake. In the minds of many parents, “what is the big deal if their baby teeth get a few cavities, they will lose them anyway.” As baby teeth will eventually fall out, what will the baby chew with? Babies with severe baby bottle tooth decay will not just have a hard time chewing food without pain, but they can have speech problems as well. Teeth help form words and sounds. When the teeth are decayed they can have speech problems. The issues with baby bottle tooth decay do not stop there. Decayed teeth can have major impact on the developing adult teeth. If babies lose their baby teeth too early due to severe decay, adult teeth can erupt tilted or drift into the empty space. The drifting teeth can crowd the other adult teeth, leading to major crowding and or blocking the other adult teeth from erupting.
How Do I Know if My Baby has Tooth Decay?
As a parent it is important to monitor your baby’s teeth. It is easier to treat and prevent baby bottle tooth decay. It is important to know early signs of tooth decay, so you can seek professional treatments and correct the cause of the decay. An early sign of tooth decay is when there is a super white spot on the teeth. Once the teeth develop brown or black spots, this is advanced tooth decay and the child requires dentist treatment to help preserve the teeth until the adult teeth are ready to fall out.
How Do You Prevent Bottle Tooth Decay?
To help prevent baby bottle tooth decay there are a few steps you can take, starting with night time habits. If possible try not to put your child asleep with a bottle, sippy cup or pacifier. If you do, try using water. In the beginning it is okay to use bottle or breast milk and once teeth begin to develop try to transfer to water. Avoid sweet drinks such as juice and soda. If you do give your child a pacifier, make sure you clean it off thoroughly before giving it to the child. Even though the baby may not have teeth, you should still clean the baby’s gums before bed time. Use a clean gauze pad and gently wipe the baby’s gum to remove any sugar. As soon as teeth begin to develop make sure to brush and floss them. Once your baby is one year old, begin taking them to a dentist. Make sure to help brush your child’s teeth until they are at least eight years old.
Pediatric Dental Care