What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
The tooth decay observed during infancy or in your toddlers is generally termed as baby bottle tooth decay.
This is usually noticed on the upper and lower front teeth, though other preliminary teeth may also get affected.
As the name suggests, tooth decay in babies is caused basically due to prolonged contact with sugary substances or fluids including candy and chocolates, milk or formula feed gave using bottles.
There are high chances of tooth decay if your baby sleeps with a bottle in her mouth or if a bottle is used as a pacifier regularly. Tooth decay can also be caused due to lack of water intake by your baby (above 6 months of age).
Fortunately, baby bottle tooth decay can be prevented to a great extent.
- The first and foremost step us to make sure that cavity-causing bacteria are not introduced to them by us through sharing their spoon or other items that they put in their mouth. Adult saliva has ample bacterias that can cause oral health issues in babies.
- Secondly, provide enough drinking water to the baby. Babies above six months of age can start taking water in small quantities. Mother’s milk provides them enough fluid but it is wise to supplement it with a sip of water occasionally to make sure they get enough liquid for keeping them well hydrated round the clock.
- Avoid feeding sugary juices or sweets. Follow a healthy diet and ensure that they don’t take in too much sugar.
- Monitor their milk feeding habit and remove feeding bottle from them once they empty it. Do not let your child play or suckle on the bottle nipple for too long.
- Encourage drinking from a cup. As soon as your baby is old enough to use a cup, teach them to drink liquid from a tumbler or cups. This will reduce the use of baby bottles.
- Most importantly, practice good oral hygiene. Once their primary teeth show up, introduce the habit of brushing teeth. Just use a quality baby brush and plain water to clean their mouth till they learn to rinse and spit. Slowly introduce a grain sized amount of fluoride paste as well.
- Schedule a dental visit when your child is ready and speak to the experts for more tips.
Baby bottle tooth decay may seem a common issue amongst children but, timely care can help maintain your kid’s healthy white teeth.
Your baby’s milk teeth are as important as their permanent set of teeth. They have the foundation for healthy oral health for your children.