According to Goldenberg Family Dentistry, baby bottle tooth decay occurs if your infant or toddler is exposed to sugary liquids on a regular basis. Liquids that can cause baby bottle tooth decay, also known as early childhood caries, include formula, milk, sodas, sweetened drinks and even fruit juice. The sugars in these types of drinks will pool around your baby or toddler’s gums and teeth allowing bacteria to feed on the sugar. Every time your son or daughter drinks something sugary, the bacteria will start to attack both the teeth and gums.
Goldenberg Family Dentistry explains that baby bottle tooth decay can even be found in infants who are breast-fed and babies and toddlers who use pacifiers that are often dipped in sugar, honey, or syrup. Because the sweet fluids are left in your baby’s mouth during sleep, it will increase the chance of cavities.
Although baby teeth fall out, it is important to remember that baby teeth are just as vital when it comes to healthy teeth and gums. If your baby’s teeth are full of decay, chances are his or her permanent teeth will be as well. It is also important to maintain the baby or primary teeth as they aid in speech and facial development, as well as hold the space for the permanent teeth. If you must fill your baby’s bottle before bedtime, make a healthier choice and fill the bottle with water instead.
Giving your baby a sugary drink before bedtime or naptime is harmful as the saliva levels decrease during sleep allowing sugary liquids to linger over an extended period of time. If left untreated, tooth decay will eventually become a problem. Teeth that become infected or are lost too early because of baby bottle tooth decay can result in crooked teeth, damaged adult teeth, speech problems, and poor eating habits. Healthy baby teeth mean healthy permanent teeth.
Goldenberg Family Dentistry stresses that baby bottle tooth decay can be prevented if you don’t allow your infant or toddler to fall asleep with a bottle that contains juice, formula, or milk. You can gradually implement changes by diluting the contents of the bottle with water over one or two weeks. After that, give your child a bottle filled with water only.
If you would like more information regarding healthy habits for babies and toddlers, call or click and schedule an appointment with Goldenberg Family Dentistry today.