Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is Essential to Prevent Infant Caries
The term baby bottle tooth decay describes tooth decay in infants and young children. It is also known as infant caries, early childhood caries, and bottle mouth. The front teeth or incisors are usually the victims of baby bottle tooth decay. The decay occurs from sugar and milk or formula and other artificially sweetened juices and snacks.
Parents hold the keys necessary to help prevent infant caries. They can help their child to maintain appropriate dental hygiene and take children to the Phoenix pediatric dentistry for cleanings. Parents must learn how to keep their baby’s teeth clean and free from cavities from an early age. They must try to teach children self-care techniques as the child grows older.
The Reasons behind Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
The occurrence of baby bottle tooth decay is standard among children coming into frequent contact with too much sugar. The bacteria in the child’s mouth feed on the sugar, multiplies, and produce acids as a toxin. The acids attacked the teeth and tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay. Popular sources of sugar for children are milk, infant formula, snacks, and juices.
When infants fall asleep with a bottle or continue using a baby bottle or sippy cup for a longer duration, the sugar and the liquids coat the teeth. The sugar on the teeth causes tooth decay to develop faster and children.
The Signs of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Cavities from tooth decay can occur on any teeth. However, in children, cavities develop on the upper front teeth, upper incisors. The holes appear as dark brown spots on the teeth and cause pain and swelling around the teeth in children with the worsening of the decay.
Complications Arising from Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Infant caries is a severe problem because children need teeth to chew, smile, and speak correctly. Baby teeth must also hold their space for the permanent teeth. Infection and discomfort will result if baby teeth are lost too early or tooth decay is left untreated.
Additionally, when baby teeth don’t develop correctly, your child may develop poor eating habits or have speech impediments. The child may develop crooked adult teeth besides having the problem of crowning. Additional complications of severe tooth decay can cause crooked adult teeth, serious infections, difficulties, and pain when chewing, and chronic pain.
Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is a Challenge Parents Must Overcome
Baby bottle tooth decay is preventable by remaining conscious of the child’s bottle-feeding habits and correctly cleaning the child’s teeth. A visit to Phoenix pediatric dentistry will provide parents with dental care tips for their child, helping them manage the child’s oral health appropriately. The advice provided by the dentist is part of preventive dentistry, allowing the child to develop healthy teeth free from any infections.
How Does a Pediatric Dentist Help Parents?
Oral health habits for children must begin at home. As the infant grows, it is time to seek help from pediatric dentistry for preventive measures. The child’s first visit to the pediatric dentist must be no later than age one. Children must visit a pediatric dentist before their first birthday, recommends the American Dental Association.
Pediatric dentists detect potential problems with the child’s teeth, including infant caries. It is why regular appointments are essential for the child. Parents having any specific concerns must consult with the child’s pediatric dentist for advice.
Tips for Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
- Infants mustn’t be put to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk. The sugars in the liquids will remain on the infant’s teeth for hours.
- Parents must never fill baby bottles with sugary water, soft drinks, or juices.
- Children must be taught to drink from a cup from around six months. By the child’s first birthday, they must have switched over to a cup recommends the ADA.
- Children must be encouraged to develop healthy eating habits and limiting sugary and sweet snacks.
- Parents must wipe the infant’s gums after feeding. A damp cloth is useful to remove bits of food or plaque.
- Parents must begin flossing children’s teeth after all have emerged.
- Dental visits for exams and cleanings are essential even for children.
Besides using the tips mentioned above, parents must refrain from sharing utensils that may contact the child’s teeth to avoid passing their saliva to the child’s mouth. Sharing utensils can promote bacterial transmission.
Preventing baby bottle tooth decay may seem like a challenge, but it is quite comfortable if parents prepare themselves to confront it.