Baby bottle tooth decay – What is it and how to prevent it?

Children face many dental problems as babies. Some of the common ones are tooth decay, early tooth loss, thumb sucking, tooth decay, and tongue thrusting.

It is essential to maintain proper oral health so that you can keep your child safe from pain and discomfort associated with the above conditions.

Although we know that eventually, the baby tooth will be replaced with permanent teeth, yet maintaining oral health will directly impact the overall well-being.

In this write-up, we will explore in brief the various aspects of tooth decay resulting from a baby bottle and being a parent how you can keep this condition at bay.

What is baby bottle tooth decay?

This condition has different names, the most common ones being nursing bottle syndrome, childhood caries, and nursing bottle syndrome.

Baby bottle tooth decay usually occurs when the sugar content in milk, sweetened water, juices, or any liquid that the baby drinks and that which has much sugar content is continuously in contact with baby teeth.

During breastfeeding, if the milk remains in the baby’s mouth the chances of tooth decay increase considerably. Make sure that the baby swallows the milk before sleeping.

Baby bottle tooth decay without treatment

If you seek advice or guidance from any dental expert about this baby dental condition, you can take the necessary measures to safeguard your child from the same.

If left without treatment, it can cause severe toothache, and your child might be unable to bite, chew, or in extreme cases, open the mouth.

It can also lead to tooth abscess, which is the most common form of infection, and it can often become life-threatening if the infection spreads to the other parts of the body.

Also, the baby teeth form the platform for the permanent teeth and also aids in maintaining proper teeth position. However, if not addressed, the placement of permanent teeth might suffer as well over the years.

How to prevent baby bottle tooth decay?

According to experts at Dublin Dental Care or if you ask any dental professional, you will have to follow these steps-

  1. If your baby is using a pacifier, do not keep it in contact with any liquid that contains sugar like honey or sweetened milk.
  2. If your baby is restless or crying, avoid offering sweetened milk or juice. Try to calm with toys or a pacifier.
  3. As mentioned above, while breastfeeding, if the baby does not swallow the milk and falls asleep with the milk in the mouth, make sure your baby swallows it before he falls asleep.
  4. After every feed, take a clean, soft cotton cloth or a sterile gauze with the help of which you can wipe gums, teeth, and, if possible, the tongue of your baby. You can keep bacterial infection, gum disease, and plaque at bay.

It is also important to teach babies to practice good dental hygiene right from the beginning. If you can inculcate these habits, it will stay lifelong.

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