Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Protect Your Baby
Know the Facts
Believe it or not, primary (baby) teeth need to be cared for just as well as adult teeth. Baby teeth that are neglected oral care actually have the potential to damage the adult teeth waiting to take their place, and increase your child's risk of developing crooked teeth or problems with speech and eating.
Why does baby bottle tooth decay occur?
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when a child's teeth is regularly exposed to sugary liquids over a long period of time. These sugary liquids (such as fruit juice, soda, soft drinks, formula and milk) produce acids in the mouth that eat away at the teeth, leading to decay.
In addition to the sugary liquids a baby may receive from a bottle, tooth decay can also easily occur in infants who are breast-fed over a long period of time, or infants who suck on pacifiers that have been dipped into substances containing sugar.
Here's how you can protect your baby from decay:
- Avoid giving your baby any sugary liquids or substances before bed. As your child sleeps, the sugar has a lot of time to produce acids to attack the teeth.
- Massage and clean your baby's gums and soft tissues after every meal with a dampened cloth or piece of gauze.
- Brush your child's teeth gently with a soft bristle toothbrush and water, or using a non-fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss your baby's teeth as soon as they all come in.
- Limit the amount of sugar you give your child.
- Make sure you keep up with scheduling regular dental visits after your child's first visit (which should be before the age of one).
- Consider dental sealant treatment for your child to help further prevent decay.
Is your baby ready for their first dental visit? Teeth First Dental Group offers dental services to adults and children with locations all over Ontario!