Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

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Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

A child's baby teeth are important and are still susceptible to cavities. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come incorrectly. It's important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their teeth for decades to come.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

Many factors can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the prolonged exposure of the baby's teeth to sugary drinks. Tooth decay can also occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle or when a bottle is used as a pacifier.

Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby's feeding spoon in her mouth or cleans a pacifier, the bacteria can be given to the baby.

If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay. The good news is that decay is preventable.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

  • Try not to share saliva with the baby through the everyday use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. After each feeding, wipe your child's gums and clean with a damp gauze pad or washcloth.
  • When your child's teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and a smear (or grain of rice-sized amount) of fluoride toothpaste until 3.
  • Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from 3 to 6.
  • Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste—usually not before they are 6 or 7.
  • Use the only formula, milk, or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with sugar, water, juice, or soft drinks.
  • Infants should finish their bedtime and nap time bottles before going to bed.
  • If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don't dip it in sugar or honey.
  • Please encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits.

When your child's first tooth appears, talk to your dentist about scheduling the first dental visit. Treat the first dental visit as you would a well-baby checkup with the child's physician. Remember: starting early is the key to a lifetime of good dental health.

Raghav's Medical And Dental Multispeciality Clinic
Raghav's Medical And Dental Multispeciality Clinic