What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
When an infant or toddler has tooth decay, it is often referred to as baby bottle tooth decay. Baby teeth may be temporary, but they are important. Your child needs healthy, strong teeth so they can chew their food and speak properly. Healthy teeth also help your child have a healthy-looking smile. Primary teeth are placeholders that help guide the permanent teeth into their proper positions. Dental care should begin when your child is still an infant so that they can have a healthy smile for years to come.
What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay can occur when liquids that are sweetened or with natural sugars are exposed to the teeth for long periods of time. The following can cause baby bottle tooth decay:
• Putting your baby to bed with a bottle
• Giving your infant a sugary drink at nap time or bedtime
• Putting your baby’s feeding spoon or pacifier in your mouth
• Not receiving enough fluoride
• Dipping your infant’s pacifier in sugar, syrup, or honey
How Do I Care for My Child’s Smile?
• Be sure that your child is getting enough fluoride, as this helps prevent cavities. If your water supply does not have fluoride, ask our dentist if you need to use a supplement.
• Place only formula, milk, or breastmilk in your baby’s bottles. Avoid putting sugary drinks like juice in your baby’s bottle.
• After feeding your baby, wipe their gums with a clean, damp washcloth or gauze pad
• Once your baby’s teeth start coming in, gently brush them using a child-size toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste
• From the ages of three to six, brush with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
• Supervise your child when he or she brushes their teeth until they learn not to swallow toothpaste
• Start taking your child to the dentist by his or her first birthday.
We invite you to contact our office today to learn more about preventing baby bottle tooth decay in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and to schedule your child’s appointment with Dr. Michael Scholes. We are excited to serve your family!