As a concerned parent, dealing with baby bottle tooth decay can be overwhelming. This condition is also termed early childhood caries. It happens when your child's teeth encounter sugary liquids often. Formula, milk, or juice can cause harm.
If untreated, pain, infection, and complications can follow. Promptly seeking treatment is key. If you wait too long, your child could lose their first teeth. Plus, they may cause problems for permanent teeth later on. Keep reading to learn more about baby bottle tooth decay and how you and your pediatric dentist can stop them.
Understanding the Cause
Baby bottle tooth decay takes root from prolonged exposure to sugary liquids. Sleeping with a bottle containing these liquids worsens the problem. Sugars feed harmful bacteria in the mouth, causing acid to erode tooth enamel. Poor oral hygiene exacerbates the issue. You can also transfer this bacteria to your child by sharing utensils or using your mouth the clean a pacifier.
Detecting the Signs
Spotting signs of baby bottle tooth decay is vital for timely action. Look for white spots or discoloration on the teeth, visible cavities, gum inflammation, and bad breath. Your baby may also show signs of being in pain during feeding.
Treating baby bottle tooth decay involves teamwork between you and your pediatric dentist. Your baby should have had their first dental visit by the end of their first year or when their first tooth erupts. At that time, your dentist will assess the health of your child's teeth and assess any problems. If your child has early signs of dental caries, they may do any of the following to remedy the situation:
- Professional cleaning to remove plaque
- Fluoride treatment to protect teeth
- Dietary guidance to reduce sugar that feeds bacteria
- Fillings or crowns for decayed teeth
- Extraction if necessary
Hopefully, you will see the signs early and reduce the chance of baby bottle tooth decay. Here is a list of things you can do to help your child's teeth.
- Clean your baby's gums with a soft cloth
- Cut sugary liquids, especially before bedtime
- Don't put baby to bed with a bottle filled with anything except water
- Teach cup use as soon as possible
- Schedule a dentist visit twice a year
Baby bottle tooth decay is a challenge, but it's manageable and treatable. When you spot signs and collaborate with your pediatric dentist, your child can get essential treatment. Preventive actions safeguard your child's oral health. Contact your pediatric dentist and schedule your child's dental checkup as soon as possible.
Reach out to a clinic like Apollo Dental Center to learn more.