It is important to take special care when it comes to baby teeth. After all, we all need healthy, strong teeth to chew our food properly, speak well, and have a nice smile as we grow. When we think of common baby concerns, we don’t often consider the fact that children’s tooth decay might become one of them.
In fact, it seems strange that they would even develop tooth concerns so early in life when you consider they don’t even have teeth yet. Surprisingly, infants and toddlers are still highly susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay can easily become a troubling issue for new mothers if the right precautions are not taken. Moreover, it is vital to develop a good oral care routine for children to ensure their teeth form properly and are protected as they grow older. Read on to explore how dental issues such as baby bottle tooth decay can develop and how to prevent or treat the concern if necessary.
How Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Develops
When your baby consumes sugary breast milk or juice, this combines with saliva in the baby’s mouth, forming little pools which then cause tooth decay. Bacteria may also be spread when mothers clean pacifiers with their mouth or put their baby’s feeding spoon in their mouth. Bacteria will transfer from the mother’s saliva to the child and can cause decay. Most tooth decay in infants occurs in the upper front teeth, but it is possible for other teeth to be affected. Although the condition can be avoided, it is optimal to understand how this condition develops and seek out treatment or consultation from dental professionals to avoid irreversible damage to the baby’s teeth.
Preventing Children’s Tooth Decay
Considering a baby’s first teeth will eventually fall out, the idea of tooth decay may not sound very serious to you, but it should. In fact, if a baby develops tooth decay, it can even cause harm to their future primary teeth and hinder the correct formation of primary teeth as well.
So, is it possible to prevent baby bottle tooth decay? Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to avoid damage to your baby’s teeth. The main form of defense is by ensuring your baby doesn’t nurse on a bottle while going to sleep. Avoid using a bottle as a soothing pacifier for prolonged periods of time as this may also cause issues for babies. The reason for this is because this encourages those pools of saliva to form and linger in the mouth, causing decay.
It is very important to get your baby and subsequent toddler drinking from cups as soon as possible to prevent any problems from arising. Avoid giving your child juice, milk, sugar water, or soft drinks and stick to breast milk or formula instead. Consider having your child finish their bottle before naps or bedtime to avoid the formation of pools of liquid in their mouth. It is also important to ensure their pacifiers and bottles are sufficiently cleaned. Lastly, consider the benefits of a healthy diet rich in vegetables and good sources of protein to help your child develop and maintain healthy teeth.
Other easy forms of prevention include not sharing saliva via feeding spoons or pacifiers. After feeding your baby, utilize a damp cloth or wipe to gently cleanse your baby’s gums. As their teeth come in and begin to develop, gently brush them with a child sized toothbrush and water. You can also use a smear of toothpaste until the age of 3. You may begin utilizing a pea-sized amount of toothpaste from the ages of 3-6 years old. It is also important to supervise your child to ensure they spit out and do not swallow any toothpaste after brushing.
For most parents, the best form of treatment for any tooth conditions is prevention. Properly cleansed bottles, developing a consistent brushing routine for your child as they grow, and limiting sugary drinks will help your child to avoid any unpleasant or painful baby bottle tooth decay. Enlisting a healthy diet full of green vegetables, lean protein, and limited amounts of sugar will also help your child develop good habits as they age.
If you suspect your baby is suffering from serious baby bottle tooth decay, contact our professionals at Burbank City Dental today for a consultation towards a healthier smile.
Children’s Tooth Decay Treatment in Burbank
Burbank City Dental enlists help from the most esteemed professionals in the industry to bring you the best in dental care, including children’s tooth decay treatment. With our extensive and ongoing training, our 3 accomplished dentists (Dr. Kohanof, Dr. Zarabian, and Dr. Farivar) work tirelessly to bring their patients the most cutting edge and effective treatments and procedures available.