If you have children then you have probably heard the topic of “baby bottle” tooth decay come up at least once in conversation. Oftentimes the idea gets ignored and written off as a silly myth. However, there may be some cause for concern for parents with young children. Professionals who work in family dentistry may warn you of the dangers of infant or young child tooth decay. However, it is up to you to do your own research and decide what are the facts and the myths on the subject of “baby bottle” tooth decay.
“Baby bottle” tooth decay simply refers to tooth decay in infants and children. This tooth decay happens with sweetened or natural sugar liquids cling to the teeth for a long period of time. Acid is produced through bacteria in baby’s mouth and begins to decay the teeth.
Here are a few myths about baby bottle tooth decay.
- Baby bottle tooth decay only affects upper front teeth- Other teeth can be affected by tooth decay due to drinks pooling all over the mouth for extended period of time.
- Baby teeth are useless- this statement is very far from the truth. Baby teeth are placeholders for adult teeth. They also aid in chewing, speaking, and smiling.
- Tooth decay won’t cause discomfort to your child- Baby bottle tooth decay will cause pain for your child. If the condition goes untreated, infection can set in.
Surprised? Well here are a few facts about baby bottle tooth decay.
- Some of the crippling affects to a child who suffered tooth decay include speech problems and bad eating habits.
- Adult teeth have a significantly increased risked of coming in crooked.
- Baby bottle tooth decay may eventually cause middle ear infections.
There are easy ways to avoid baby bottle tooth decay that include;
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings
- Don’t allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth
- Start brushing your child’s teeth with water once the first tooth comes in
- Don’t dip a pacifier in sugar, syrup, or anything sweet
- Limit your child’s sugar intake
For more information on baby bottle tooth decay, talk to your family dentistry professional or visit Webmd.com and Dr-v.org. It’s never too late to end bad habits and have your child on the road to better oral health for now and for the future.