AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

23109563498 Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Baby Bottle Tooth DecayAs an adult, you likely know the importance of keeping your mouth healthy, also your baby especially regarding baby bottle tooth decay. You know that you need to brush and floss regularly. But what about your children? Are you doing what you can to ensure that they, too, have healthy teeth? Some parents don’t realize that the habits they have are doing quite a bit of harm to their children’s teeth. This is particularly true with children who are in their first few years of life.

Young and Vulnerable: Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay is a condition many youngsters deal with in their early years. This condition of tooth decay can be caused in a few different ways. One cause is the fact that many babies keep bottles in their mouths for quite sometime, and they are often even put to bed with a bottle. The problem comes when these bottles are filled with sugary drinks. The teeth are exposed to the sugar for long periods of time, which leads to this type of decay.

Another way young children can get tooth decay is from their parents dipping their pacifiers in honey or sugar before giving it to them. Parents sometimes do this because it helps a fussy baby take the pacifier more willingly. While this can be a temporary relief from crying or help the little one go to sleep, it is not worth the decay that can come as a result.

Problems from Unlikely Sources: Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

In addition, sometimes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay is caused from a mother or father transferring his or her saliva to the baby’s mouth. Some parents clean off the baby’s pacifier or bottle by sticking it into their own mouth first. Babies can also get a parent’s saliva from a spoon if it was previously used. The bacteria is transferred from parent to child in this way, which can lead to decay in the child’s mouth.

Change Your Behavior

Being aware of these risks for childhood tooth decay can help parents make better decisions that will protect them. In addition to the tips above – namely avoiding sugary drinks in bottles, “sweet” pacifiers, and transfer of saliva, dental professionals give a few more recommendations to protect your child’s teeth. First, never underestimate the power of good nutrition. As you feed your child healthy, nutritious, natural foods, his or her teeth will automatically grow stronger. They will be introduced to less sugar and acid, which almost always lead to decay.

Also, dental professionals recommend that parents wipe their babies’ gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding. This reduces the food particles that would otherwise be left in the child’s mouth, which will decrease the amount of potential bacteria. When your child’s teeth do come in (even if there are just a few) begin brushing them right away. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and gently brush the child’s teeth. Once the child can do it independently, it is a good idea to supervise to make sure the child is spitting out the toothpaste and brushing correctly.

Once the first tooth appears, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist to schedule an appointment for a dental visit. Starting early will help your child have a healthier mouth and avoid baby bottle tooth decay for years to come.

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Author Bio: Dr. Nathan Tanner is a dentist in Billings, MT., who has extensive experience through owning his own practice, Grand Avenue Dental Care, and from teaching cosmetic and pain-free dentistry at the OHSU dental school.


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