Nursing or “Baby Bottle” Decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is the result of frequent, prolonged contact with
liquids that contain sugars such as fruit juices, milk, formula or any other
sweetened drinks. Human breast milk is also a contributor to baby bottle tooth
decay. As the sugars break down in the mouth, bacteria start feeding on the
sugars, produce acids and cause tooth decay.
If left untreated, decayed teeth can cause pain and discomfort. Not
only can decayed teeth affect your child’s comfort, primary teeth also
help guide permanent teeth into place. If the teeth are damaged or
absent, they are unable to help guide permanent teeth into their proper
position, possibly affecting future crowding or crooked teeth of adult
teeth. Badly decayed baby teeth could lead to an abscessed tooth, with
the infection spreading to between the teeth and the gum or affecting
the root of the tooth.
Listed below are some tips to preventing baby bottle tooth decay:
- To calm your baby, don't give a bottle filled with sugary
liquids; instead, give plain water or use a pacifier.
- Don’t coat your baby’s pacifier in a sweetener of any kind such
as sugar, or honey as a way to comfort them.
- Don't put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with sugary
liquids. Plain water is best.
- Use a wet cloth or gauze to wipe your child's teeth and gums
after each feeding. This helps remove any excess sugar preventing
the chance for bacteria to form.
If live in or around West Covina and you suspect your child has baby
bottle tooth decay, contact our office or schedule an appointment for a
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