Baby Bottle Tooth Decay – Boys Town Pediatrics

Baby bottle tooth decay is actually the most
common infectious disease or chronic infectious disease of childhood. People don’t realize
this but cavities are an infectious disease. Baby bottle tooth decay is children who are
exposed to milk, juice, other fluid that’s have sugar in them for prolonged periods of
time. Basically what happens is, the bacteria in your mouth use that sugar to produce acid
and the acid decays your teeth. It can start extremely early. You’ll actually,
in some kids, start to notice a thinning in the enamel of the teeth, discoloration or
an indention. The cavities can be there long before you even notice those. So a lot of
times it’s there long before you realize it. If the cavities are small enough then the
dentist can fill them. If they’re bigger, often times, you’ll see the dentist cap the
teeth or sometimes they will just pull the front teeth. You will see children with a
mouth full of teeth missing at either a very young age, prior to age 5 or 6 when they would
naturally lose them, or you’ll see them with big, silver capped teeth. Neither one is an
ideal situation, for the cosmetic appearance, or how the child feels about themselves.
Your child should really, other than when they’re sitting at the table, they should
only be drinking water from a cup or a bottle. When they’re sitting at the table they can
have milk or juice and really a limited amount of juice as it’s not necessary in their diet.
At a young age, as soon as those first teeth are in, using a baby washcloth to wipe the
teeth down after every feeding is important. Parents don’t think about it. You use that
same wash cloth to wash their face but before you wash their face, stick it in their mouth,
wipe off the front and back of their teeth and then wash their face.
Starting at one year of age, you want to start brushing your their teeth. What that really
means is, when you, or your older children are brushing their teeth, give them their
toothbrush, show they what you’re doing, explain how to go up and down and back and forth and
then go back over the teeth for them. They will not be adequate at that point doing a
good job.

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