How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Posted by San Pedro on May 11 2023, 03:14 AM

Baby bottle tooth decay, also known as early childhood caries, is a pattern of decay that occurs in infants. It is a serious condition that requires immediate attention. If left untreated, baby bottle tooth decay can make your child's teeth prone to infection.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of decay that occurs in infants and toddlers when their teeth are in contact with liquids containing sugars for long periods of time. The condition is sometimes called nursing caries or early childhood caries, and it is the most common oral health problem in young children.

When a child consumes sugary drinks like milk, formula, fruit juice, and even breast milk, the sugars combine with the bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel and cause cavities. 

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

When your child sleeps with a bottle of milk or juice while lying down, this can lead to a condition known as "baby bottle tooth decay."

This condition is caused by giving your child a bottle filled with sugary drinks such as milk, formula, or juice before going to bed. The sugar in milk, formula, and juice can eat away at the teeth for as long as it remains in the mouth. If your child falls asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth and doesn't rinse his or her teeth for several hours afterward, the bacteria in the bacteria can use that sugar as food. This will lead to the erosion of their teeth and their risk of developing cavities.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Caring for your baby's teeth while they are young is one of the best ways to ensure they have a smile that lasts a lifetime. Use these tips to help safeguard your child's oral health as they grow.

Start Dental Care Early

The earlier you start caring for your baby's gums and teeth, the better. Even before your baby's first tooth comes in, you should wipe their gums with a clean, moist cloth after feedings. Once that first tooth erupts, switch to a soft toothbrush or damp washcloth to gently clean the teeth.

Avoid Letting Your Child Sleep With a Bottle

Many parents find that giving their children a bottle before bed is a great way to get them to sleep through the night without waking up to be fed. Unfortunately, the bottle itself can cause issues for your little one's developing teeth and mouth.

When you put your child to bed with a bottle, the sugars in the milk or formula will sit on their teeth for long periods of time throughout the night. This sugar will eat away at the enamel of their teeth and cause decay to form over time. Try to avoid letting your child go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice at naptime and bedtime. If you do give them the bottle, make sure it's only filled with water.

Don't Allow Your Child to Drink Juice in Their Sippy Cups

You can avoid most of the issues with baby bottle tooth decay by limiting your child's exposure to sugary drinks like milk and juice. However, when your child is on the go, it's difficult to stop them from getting thirsty. A sippy cup filled with water is an easy way to keep your child hydrated throughout the day. 

Call San Pedro at (310) 832-6487 or schedule an online appointment to learn more about baby bottle decay and its treatments.

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