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Keep Baby Bottle Tooth Decay From Ruining Your Child's Smile

baby bottle sleeping decay

All About Baby Teeth

Baby teeth may not seem very important, but they play a crucial role in your child's oral health. Take a look at a few facts about primary teeth.

There is a Pattern to the Appearance of Baby Teeth

The two bottom front teeth usually appear first, followed by the top two front teeth. First teeth generally appear when your baby is between 6 months and 1 year old. Usually, the first teeth to appear are the first ones your child loses when the permanent teeth begin to erupt.

Losing Baby Teeth Can Affect Permanent Teeth

Baby teeth create space for permanent teeth and help guide them into the proper position. If your child loses a baby tooth prematurely, the permanent tooth may grow in crooked or might even be damaged if tooth decay in the baby tooth was extensive.

Baby Teeth are Essential to Your Child's Development

Baby teeth are needed to chew and bite. They also help your child form words correctly. Even at a young age, missing or damaged teeth can affect a child's self-esteem and may affect his or her social development.

Tooth decay can affect your children at a very young age. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry estimates that 28 percent of children ages 2 to 5 have already had cavities. Early childhood cavities, commonly called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, is a serious problem, but one that can be easily prevented.

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay causes cavities in children under age five. The condition gets its name from the practice of putting babies to bed with bottles. When a child falls asleep, small amounts of milk tend to pool in the mouth. Milk and formula contain natural sugars. If the sugars mix with the bacteria in the mouth, acids are created that attack tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Is Milk (or Formula) the Only Culprit?

Although the condition is called "Baby Bottle" Tooth Decay, it doesn't just affect babies and can be caused by a variety of factors. Giving your baby or young child juice frequently may also increase the risk that your son or daughter will develop cavities. In some cases, early childhood cavities can develop if you share spoons with your child or clean a dirty pacifier in your mouth before handing it to your child. The problem occurs when the bacteria present in your mouth is transferred to your child through your saliva.

How Can I Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

These tips will help your child avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay:

Is it time for your child's first dental visit? Call us today to schedule an appointment.


 

Sources:

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: State of Little Teeth
http://www.aapd.org/assets/1/7/State_of_Little_Teeth_Final.pdf

American Dental Association: Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/baby-bottle-tooth-decay

Colgate: Treating Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/life-stages/infant-oral-care/article/treatment-for-baby-bottle-tooth-decay-0414

HealthyChildren.org: How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Your Baby, 5/15/15
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/How-to-Prevent-Tooth-Decay-in-Your-Baby.aspx

Medline Plus: Tooth Decay – Early Childhood, 2/22/16
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000721.htm

Our staff of dental professionals are dedicated to helping you achieve your dental wellness objectives. Thank you for subscribing to our dental wellness newsletter.

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