Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is A Big Problem That Can Be Prevented
YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN. Either way, we all have children we care about in our lives—nieces, nephews, grandchildren, neighbor’s and coworker’s children, etc. That’s why we’re taking a quick step away from orthodontics this week, to help everyone be aware of this severe health issue affecting kids.
It’s Easy To Protect Against Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Did you know that the most common childhood disease today is tooth decay? Tooth decay results when bacteria in one’s mouth interacts with the sugar and starches in foods and beverages, creating acid which erodes tooth enamel. And although baby teeth are temporary, they’re critical to a child’s health, comfort, and long term oral health development. Without proper care those baby teeth are subject to painful, unnecessary caries.
Don’t Let Babies Fall Asleep With Their Bottles
Here’s what typically happens… The baby is put to bed with a bottle. Seems harmless enough. But if the bottle is full of milk or juice it’s also full of sugars that combine with bacteria to produce acids. Babies drift off with the bottles still in their mouths. The fluid pools around their teeth and the enamel on those new little teeth is slowly eroded away throughout the night.
The result can be painful caries, and/or the need for stainless steel crowns. In addition, since children’s teeth are still coming in they’re more susceptible to decay underneath the gum line. This decay can become so severe that delicate surgery under a general anesthetic may be required to remedy the problem.
Take A Moment To Be Informed
If you start early, you may be able to train your child to drink water in his or her bottle at nap time. Here are some other tips:
- use gauze or a wet cloth to wipe children’s gums and teeth after feedings
- work toward using “sippy” cups by his or her first birthday
- don’t nurse continuously during the night
- never dip pacifiers in honey or any sugary liquid
The video below offers other suggestions:
If You Have Questions, Please Ask
Think about the children you know and kindly help every parent understand this important topic. If you have any questions about dental health for your child, or for a child close to you, ask our team about it. You can leave a comment below, or on our Facebook page.
You can also learn more about baby bottle tooth decay from this ADA webpage.