What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay? Quick Causes and Simple Prevention

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With so much to keep track of as parents of little ones, it’s incredibly easy to forget their teeth. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, also known as Early Childhood Caries, is one important issue to keep in mind. The best way to do so is to first understand what it is. So what is baby bottle tooth decay?

Here at Mint Dental Care, our team delights to inform our patients of every possible preventative measure to keep dental issues nonexistent. Today, we’re happy to share both the causes of baby bottle tooth decay as well as ways to prevent it.

CAUSES:

*When an infant or toddler is exposed to sugary drinks, liquids like fruit juice, formula, and milk, their teeth respond in the same way as adults. The sugar attacks the teeth. We see this especially in children who fall asleep while drinking their bottles, or who receive pacifiers dipped in sugary substances.

*Bacteria come from saliva and can be passed from Mom or Dad to the child. This occurs when Mom puts the child’s spoon in her mouth, or Dad holds the pacifier between his teeth for momentary safe keeping.

*Finally, a lack of fluoride will more likely expose an infant’s teeth to decay. While baby bottle tooth decay affects any teeth in the mouth, it most often affects the top front teeth. Please contact us with any questions you may have about our fluoride treatments and availability for children.

PREVENTION:

*Do not share spoons with your child, and keep pacifiers out of adult mouths. Before and after use, be sure to clean the pacifiers and do not use sugary substances to make them more palatable to the toddler.

*Establish healthy eating habits when the child begins to consume solid foods. Limit sugary drinks and sticky foods whenever possible.

*Be sure to brush your child’s teeth. When their baby teeth have only begun to come through you can gently brush them with no toothpaste, or a bit of fluoride toothpaste. This will not only help to clean away layered sugar and bacteria, but begin what we hope to be a lifetime habit.

With attention to small details around bedtime, nap time, and mealtime, baby bottle tooth decay is simple to keep away. It excites us to help children establish dental health at an early age so we look forward to  meeting you and your family soon! You can easily schedule your next appointment here.