Baby bottle tooth decay symptoms and prevention.
New parents have a lot of worries entering into parenthood. You have a tiny human to look after and making sure they are taken care of is of the utmost importance. But there is one obstacle that is generally overlooked: baby’s oral care. When they are born, they don’t have teeth so thinking about looking after them can easily be overlooked. But care for your child’s non-existent teeth is actually necessary to making sure their teeth are healthy once they do arrive. Babies need their teeth to chew and smile adorably. While they may not stick around long, their baby teeth are placeholders for adult teeth so keeping them healthy will make the adult ones just as healthy. And the biggest threat to this happening? Baby bottle tooth decay.
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when sweet liquids, from juices to formula, linger around in your child’s mouth for too long. When you put your child down for a nap with a bottle of formula, or dip a pacifier in some sugary syrup, you are allowing the bad bacteria naturally in your child’s mouth to thrive off of the sugars they crave. Most family and pediatric dentists in Greensboro will tell you this will cause the teeth to decay, much more prone to infection as the remaining teeth present themselves. Because your child is napping or sleeping at night, their saliva production decreases. They may want it but giving them sugary liquids, like juice or milk, to put them to sleep is actually the worst idea for their oral health. If the decay has progressed far enough, the teeth may need to be extracted. You may think it’s fine since they will eventually fall out, but in fact, losing teeth too early can cause issues with speaking, eating or other dental issues going forward.
There are ways to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. If your child uses a pacifier, don’t dip it in anything sweet. If you give your child a bottle to sleep, just fill it with water. Yes, it won’t be well-received, especially if you already water down juice, but it is best. Continue watering down the juice more and more until you are eventually giving them just water. If your child doesn’t have teeth yet, make sure to wipe down their gums with a cloth after they eat or drink anything. As teeth begin to come in, brush them without toothpaste. Begin to floss them as their mouth begins to fill with baby teeth. As they continue to grow, make their first dental appointment. They should begin to see the dentist around their first birthday. Your dental professional will be able to give you further instruction to maintaining your child’s oral care.
Be sure to keep your baby’s mouth healthy by keeping up with proper oral hygiene, contact Dr. Graham Farless, DDS at 336-282-2868 to schedule their first checkup today. Or visit www.gsodentist.com for additional information.
Dr. Graham Farless proudly serves Greensboro, Stokesdale, Pleasant Garden, Thomasville, Kernersville, Archdale and all surrounding areas.