Even though children lose their baby tooth as they grow older, young kids can still experience tooth decay at a very early age. Known as baby bottle tooth decay, some children experience cavities at a very young age, particularly from sweetened liquids like fruit juice and formula or natural sugars, such as milk. The frequency with which kids are exposed to these liquids, as well as the duration that the sugars are consumed has a tremendous impact on the potential for decay. The amount of fluroide that a child receives also has a major effect on the rate of tooth decay.
How to Prevent Decay
There are a few easy steps that all parents can do to prevent baby bottle tooth decay:
– Don’t share saliva with a baby, as bacteria can transfer from your mouth to your child’s.
– Wipe the baby’s gums with a cloth after every meal.
– Use fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth once they come in.
– Schedule consistent visits with your dentist after your child turns one to ensure that there aren’t any problems arising. Some dentists offer sealants that coat your child’s teeth to prevent decay.
– Only fill your bottle with milk, formula, or breastmilk, staying away from juice and soft drinks.
– Don’t let your child keep a bottle over night in bed, as it will increase the duration of sugar on your child’s teeth.
– Transition to drinking from an open cup around the first year of age.
Even though baby teeth are temporary, they are still essential for smiling, chewing, and speaking. Without strong teeth, babies and young children can suffer from crooked teeth, poor speech, and permanent damage. Therefore, it’s extremely important that parents take the proper steps to ensure that babies don’t receive too much sugar and that all teeth are brushed and flossed regularly.
If you have any questions about your child’s dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.
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