We know a sugary diet can cause cavities for kids and adults, but babies are also susceptible to tooth decay. While baby teeth fall out in time, it is important to keep them strong, healthy, and clean for optimal oral and body health.
Your baby may not be regularly eating candy and cookies, but what they drink can also lead to tooth decay, especially beverages consumed in a bottle. Dr. Jas Arora of Oxford Smiles in Marlborough, MA, offers pediatric dentistry services and tips that will ensure your baby’s teeth are protected through the bottle stages.
WHAT CAUSES BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY?
Just as with regular decay, baby bottle tooth decay results from plaque lingering on the teeth. When feeding from a bottle, whether it contains breast milk, formula, or juice, babies tend to drink slower, allowing the drink to wash over their teeth for a longer period of time.
When sugary drinks or foods are allowed to linger in the mouth, bacteria are quicker to develop. This bacteria can morph into decay, causing cavities.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MY CHILD FROM DEVELOPING BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY?
Most important is avoiding giving your baby juice, soda, or other sweetened drinks in a bottle. Only formula, milk, or water should be given in bottle form. Don’t allow your baby to nurse on a bottle for a prolonged period of time, or let them take the bottle with them to bed.
If your child is over the age of one, it is a good idea to start introducing a cup without a nipple. You should also begin brushing their teeth as soon as they start to come in, using a soft toothbrush and a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Once your child is old enough to hold and maneuver a toothbrush you can allow them to brush with supervision. Try setting a timer for two minutes so you can ensure they are getting their teeth fully cleaned.
Make sure to book visits every six months to our pediatric dentistry office in Marlborough, MA, for dental exams and cleanings. To book a pediatric dentistry appointment for your baby or child at the Marlborough, MA office of Dr. Arora, call us at (508) 251-1701.