Just because your child has baby teeth does not mean their teeth are not susceptible to tooth decay. While your child waits for their permanent teeth, it is important to care for their teeth properly. At Gentle Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, we provide regular cleanings and checkups for your children to help prevent tooth decay. If you have questions about how you can prevent baby bottle tooth decay in Cedar City, Utah, we invite you to contact us today and schedule an appointment with our dentists, Dr. Sage White adn Dr. Trevor White.
Although they are temporary, your child’s first teeth are important to their oral health, and they are just as susceptible to cavities as their permanent teeth. Baby teeth provide your child with the necessary strength and functionality to speak and chew properly. When a child has tooth decay in their primary teeth, it is often called baby bottle tooth decay.
Baby bottle tooth decay often occurs in the front two teeth on the upper arch. This decay can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Frequent, prolonged exposure to sugary drinks
- Putting the baby to bed with a bottle
- Using a bottle as a pacifier to calm a fussy baby
- Passing bacteria from the mother when putting a feeding spoon in her mouth or cleaning the pacifier with her mouth
- Inadequate amount of fluoride
While baby bottle tooth decay may have several causes, there are ways to prevent your child from having early tooth decay. To protect your child’s teeth, follow these simple tips:
- Try to avoid sharing saliva with your baby, particularly when using a feeding spoon or pacifier. After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp washcloth.
- Brush your child’s baby teeth with a child-size toothbrush and a grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste until age 3.
- Brush your child’s teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they are between ages 3 and 6.
- Watch your child while brushing their teeth to ensure that they do not swallow toothpaste.
- Avoid filling bottles with liquids other than formula, milk, or breast milk. This includes avoiding sugar water, juice, or soft drinks.
- Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle; this includes naps.
- Do not dip your child’s pacifier in sugar or honey.
- Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
- Encourage your child to eat healthy.
If you have questions about baby bottle tooth decay and how you can help protect your child’s teeth, please feel free to contact our office today.