......Dental Topics

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

What is baby bottle tooth decay?
It is a dental condition that can destroy the teeth of an infant or young child. It occurs when a child's teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids for long periods. Among these are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened liquids.

Can all the teeth be affected?
The teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper front teeth, but other teeth can be damaged, too.

What causes the decay to occur?
Teeth are covered in a sticky film called plaque. Bacteria in plaque use sugar to produce acid. These acids then attack tooth enamel. If sugary liquid is allowed to remain in the mouth, the bacteria have more time to produce acids that can attack the teeth. Tooth decay can then occur after frequent acid attacks.

What can parents do to prevent baby bottle tooth decay?
Never allow your baby or toddler to fall asleep with either a bottle containing milk, formula, fruit juices or sweetened liquids. If your baby needs a comforter between regular feedings or at bedtime, use only water in a bottle or give the child a clean pacifier recommended by your dentist or pediatrician.

Begin oral care early. Wipe the baby's gums with a clean washcloth after each feeding. Begin brushing your child's teeth as soon as the first tooth appears.

Schedule your child's first visit to the dentist by the first birthday. You can help establish a positive relationship between your child and the dentist by starting dental visits early and continuing to see the dentist regularly.

Attend one of our free seminars for women planning to start a family, already pregnant or with young infants. We will discuss how your oral health can affect your pregnancy as well as your child's future oral health and how to protect your young child from dental decay. A tour of our office and light refreshments will be included.



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