Tips for Parents on Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is a serious dental condition that affects young children as a result of over-exposure to sugary drinks. An excess of sugary drinks can lead to cavities and tooth decay, causing significant pain and damage to your child’s teeth and mouth.
This condition typically occurs when babies are put to bed with bottles or sippy cups, or if they consume large amounts of sugary drinks throughout the day. The bacteria in their mouth feed on this extra sugar and produce acid that attacks their teeth and tooth enamel. Even though this condition primarily affects baby teeth, it is a significant issue as children need their baby teeth to hold space for their permanent teeth, to chew, speak, and smile. Tooth decay is preventable and our Where Smiles Grow team have put together our tips for keeping it at bay!
- Don’t Leave Bottles in Your Baby’s Bed
One of the leading causes of baby bottle tooth decay is putting your child to sleep with a bottle or a sippy cup filled with milk, juice, or any other drink with sugar in it. When you allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle in their bed, the sugar can sit on their teeth and gums for the entire night, providing a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Limit Sugar Intake
As a general rule, limiting the intake of excess sugar is beneficial to not only your child’s teeth and mouth health, but their general health overall. Ensure that your child is meeting the necessary nutrients required for proper growth and development and be mindful of unnecessary sugars. While we don’t encourage total restriction, we do recommend diluting sugary drinks with water to keep the taste while eliminating some of the unnecessary sugars. These diluted drinks should ideally only be given at meals. Try to give water between meals.
- Clean Your Childs Teeth and Gums Regularly
There is a misconception that brushing should begin when your child’s teeth start to erupt, but this is wrong. You should be cleaning your child’s gums with a clean, soft, damp washcloth or a soft infant toothbrush on a regular basis from birth. While some children can begin teething as early as 3-4 months, some may not begin teething until closer to their first birthday.
- Visit the Dentist Regularly
We recommend that all children have their first dental check up by age one, or whenever their first tooth comes in. Consistent dental visits will help to detect and treat any dental problems early on before they have the chance to turn into significant problems. Our team will also help to provide your child with education and guidance on the importance of proper oral care!
Schedule An Appointment with Our Where Smiles Grow Team!
Baby bottle tooth decay is preventable, and by following the right steps and creating a solid oral health care routine, you can promote good oral health habits for your children. Limiting your child’s intake of sugar, encouraging healthy eating habits, and visiting the dentist regularly can help your child to have a healthy mouth for life. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment!