It goes by many names such as bottle mouth, infant caries (cavities), baby bottle tooth decay, and so forth. Regardless of what you call it, infant tooth decay is not something that should be taken lightly.
In this article, we’re going to share with you what baby bottle tooth decay is, how it develops, and what you can do to prevent your child from experiencing bottle mouth.
What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
According to an article from Healthline, baby bottle tooth decay is a term that is used to describe any form of infant caries or tooth decay in your children.
Baby bottle tooth decay, or bottle mouth usually affects the front teeth, and therefore can have a significant impact on infants as they develop their motor skills (such as chewing).
How do Infants Develop Infant Caries (Cavities)?
As you’ve probably guessed by now, the leading cause of baby bottle tooth decay is a baby bottle. When infants use a bottle they suck milk or formula through their front teeth, at which point sugar comes in contact with the teeth, and thus begins the decaying process.
Since babies must drink through a bottle (both for safety and their parents’ sanity), it’s a common problem that must be dealt with appropriately. As with most dental issues that plague individuals at any point in their lives, a solid dental hygiene routine is essential to helping prevent bottle mouth.
What Can be Done to Prevent Bottle Mouth?
Baby Bottle decay may first appear as white spots on the gum line, which is a red flag that must be seen about immediately. In order to prevent baby bottle decay from every occurring in the first place, here are a few tips:
- Keep your baby’s mouth clean. This generally involves wiping the gums with a soft cloth, and then brushing teeth with a soft brush carefully once teeth develop.
- Never put your child to bed with a bottle or food. A crying baby can make this a challenge, but it’s imperative that you don’t put your baby down for a nap or bedtime with a bottle.
- Serve juice and milk only during meals. Your baby should be drinking water at all other times, as this will limit the amount of sugar that comes in contact with their mouth.
- Try to get your baby to start drinking out of a cup as soon as possible. By 12 months, some children are able to drink out of a cup, which is much healthier for their teeth than drinking out of a bottle.
As mentioned earlier, an oral hygiene routine is essential to keeping your child’s teeth healthy not only as an infant or toddler, but as they grow older as well. At Babylon Dental Care, we work with parents to help them plan an oral hygiene routine that will keep their child’s teeth and gums healthy as they grow older.
If you’re the mother, father, or guardian of an infant child that is suffering from infant caries, it’s important that you see a dentist as soon as possible. It’s essential that your child develop healthy teeth as they grow, and baby bottle decay, if left untreated, can potentially cause more serious issues down the road.
If you are searching for a new dentist on the South Shore of Long Island in or around the West Babylon or Patchogue areas, please give our practice nearest you a call today!
We have two locations (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay and Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza) and would love to meet you and your family.
When it comes to your infant or toddler’s oral health, you can’t be too careful. Give our office a call today to schedule your appointment. Your child will be in excellent hands with our team of dentists and caring staff members.