Tips on How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Many parents take their child’s baby teeth for granted with the belief that they’re just temporary. However, if you are a parent, you shouldn’t have that kind of a mindset. The thing is eventhough they’re temporary, they are still prone to cavities. When your infant or toddler develops tooth decay, the condition is commonly called as “baby bottle tooth decay.” The main reason why you should avoid it is because it weakens the teeth of your children. They need healthy and strong teeth in order to be able to effectively chew their food nd learn how to speak without impediments. By taking care of the very first teeth that come out, you also guarantee that the adult teeth will eventually grow and come out ideally.

So let’s learn more about this baby bottle tooth decay so that you’ll have a good set of ideas on how to prevent it.

Let’s begin with this article titled “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay” from MouthHealthy.org, where there is a brief discussion of what causes it:

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.

There are many factors which can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.

Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby.

If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay. The good news is that decay is preventable.

See some more of this post by visiting this link.

The thing with children developing tooth decay is that it usually happens with the traditional practices parents do with their young ones, including that of putting the feeding spoon and pacifier to their mouth and then transferring it to the child. While most of us believe those are harmless acts, they in fact can put the teeth of your child at risk of developing baby bottle tooth decay.

(photo credit: ScienceofMom.com)

Next to discuss are the different treatment options, courtesy of Colgate.com, in the post “Treatment For Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.

Baby bottle tooth decay can be avoided through awareness and prevention. If your child does begin to show symptoms, your dentist can provide treatment for baby bottle tooth decay. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the decay. As with most health issues, the earlier the problem is addressed, the less extensive and invasive the treatment will be.

Treatment for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Treatment varies based on your child’s age and the severity of the condition. At the earliest signs of a problem, you and your child’s dentist can work together to formulate an approach to management and treatment.

White spots on a tooth’s surface are early symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. At this stage, fluoride treatment or placing fluoride varnish can be used to remineralize all of the teeth. This treatment actually reverses decay in its earliest stages by helping to rebuild the surface enamel. Your child’s dentist might also recommend fluoride supplements. At this stage, you can also make changes to your baby’s diet to keep decay from progressing. These changes could include:

Limiting juices, especially citrus juices

Substituting water for juice, formula or milk in your child’s bottle

These changes should always be made in coordination with your child’s pediatrician and/or pediatric dentist. Depending on your child’s age, overall health and nutritional needs, some dietary changes could be undesirable.

If decay is spotted at later stages, fluoride treatments will no longer be sufficient. Symptoms of more severe decay include:

  • Brown or black spots on the teeth
  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Fever, swelling or irritability, which could indicate infection
  • Bad breath

If your child shows any of these symptoms, it’s imperative to see a dentist as soon as possible. If decay spreads, your child could face extensive restoration treatments and even tooth loss.

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We admit that it is pretty challenging to avoid those foods that you love to feed your child with and it can be painful to see them begging for it. However, once you see the signs of tooth decay in them, that’s the time you begin to realize that you could have followed those tips above in the first place.

Bad food for your child leads to tooth decay. (photo credit: Care2.com)

Meanwhile, we also found this bunch of tips from WebMD.com that talks about the easiest ways of staving off baby bottle tooth decay. See them below:

The good news is that a few simple steps can help stave off baby bottle tooth decay. They include implementing good oral hygiene at an early age. Here’s how:

Wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding.
Begin brushing your child’s teeth, without toothpaste, when his or her first tooth comes in. If you choose to use toothpaste, use a fluoride-free one.
Clean and massage gums in areas without teeth.
Floss once all the baby teeth have come in.
Make sure your child is getting enough fluoride, which helps lessen cavities. If your local water supply does not contain fluoride, ask your dentist or doctor if you need to use a supplement.
Schedule regular dental visits by your child’s first birthday. Dentists also offer special sealant coatings, which can help prevent tooth decay in children.

Other techniques to help prevent baby bottle tooth decay:

Don’t fill bottles with sugar water and soft drinks. Bottles are for milk, water, formula, and special electrolyte-containing solutions when the child has diarrhea. Juices, mixed half and half with water to avoid empty calories, are a way to interest your child in a “sippy cup.” Soft drinks are not recommended for children, as they have no nutritional value.
Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle containing anything but water.
Never give your child a pacifier dipped in anything sweet.
Reduce the sugar in your child’s diet, especially between meals.
It’s never too late to break bad habits. If your child drinks sweetened liquids from the bottle and/or sleeps with a bottle, break the habit now and cut the risk of baby bottle tooth decay by:

Gradually diluting the bottle contents with water over 2 to 3 weeks.
Once that period is over, fill the bottle only with water.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/what-is-baby-bottle-tooth-decay

Sounds easy to follow, right? Let’s see if you can actually do it. Know that what we’re talking about here is your young love and you’ll do anything in this world to protect them from any kind of harm, including tooth decay. So it is best to give yourself some time and effort to learn more about this risk so as to completely your child from developing the baby bottle tooth decay.

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Tips on How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

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