|What is baby bottle tooth decay, and how can I prevent it? Compton
|Also known as Early Childhood Caries, baby bottle tooth decay is now a common problem among children. Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when an infant, toddler or small child develops cavities, usually on the upper front teeth. Thousands of infants and toddlers suffer from baby tooth decay every year and it is interesting to know that the biggest threat to baby tooth decay is the baby bottle.
As soon as your child gets his or her first baby tooth, he or she becomes vulnerable to tooth decay. If you have a little one, you must know that almost everything children drink contain sugar. Milk, fruit juices and various other children’s formulas when consumed through the bottle lingers in the mouth causing bacteria to break down the sugar and turn it into acid. Over a period, this acid starts to decay the enamel of baby teeth, especially the upper front teeth. This is what is known as baby bottle tooth decay.
Left untreated it can destroy teeth, making it difficult for the child to chew food or even speak clearly. Since baby teeth lay the foundation for permanent teeth, children who lose their baby teeth too early are more likely to get crooked teeth when they grow up.
But the good news is that this is preventable. Here are some helpful tips to prevent baby tooth decay:
1. Wipe your child's gums and teeth
With the aid of a wet piece of cloth or a gauze pad, carefully wipe your child's gums and teeth. Do this after every bottle feeding. This process will help eliminate bacteria containing plaque and extra sugar in your child’s mouth.
2. Fill the baby bottle with water during bedtime
Feeding your child milk, juice or formula through the baby bottle is fine. But do not do so when putting your child to sleep. During bedtime give them a bottle full of water. Water does not contain any sugar and will prevent bacteria building up. If your child has become accustomed to a bottle of milk during naptime, you must try to get rid of this habit. To do this, simply keep adding more water into the milk. Overtime, you baby will get used to sleeping with a bottle of plain water.
3. Never dip the pacifier in sugary liquid
Most parents dip the baby’s pacifier in honey, thinking it will help settle the child. This is very bad for your baby’s teeth. Avoid dipping the pacifier into any substance containing sugar. Instead, only use plain water if required.
Following these simple steps will ensure that your child remains healthy and happy throughout. Remember, you want your baby’s smile to last a lifetime!