Nursing or “Baby Bottle” Decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is the result
of frequent, prolonged contact with liquids that contain sugars such as fruit
juices, milk, formula or any other sweetened drinks. Human breast milk is also a
contributor to baby bottle tooth decay. As the sugars break down in the mouth,
bacteria start feeding on the sugars, produce acids and cause tooth decay.
If left untreated, decayed teeth can cause pain and discomfort. Not
only can decayed teeth affect your child’s comfort, primary teeth also
help guide permanent teeth into place. If the teeth are damaged or
absent, they are unable to help guide permanent teeth into their proper
position, possibly affecting future crowding or crooked teeth of adult
teeth. Badly decayed baby teeth could lead to an abscessed tooth, with
the infection spreading to between the teeth
and the gum or affecting the root of the tooth.
Listed below are some tips
to preventing baby bottle tooth decay:
- To calm your baby, don't give a
bottle filled with sugary liquids; instead, give plain water or use a pacifier.
- Don’t coat your baby’s pacifier in a sweetener of any kind such as sugar, or
honey as a way to comfort them.
- Don't put your baby to bed with a bottle
filled with sugary liquids. Plain water is best.
- Use a wet cloth or gauze
to wipe your child's teeth and gums after each feeding. This helps remove any
excess sugar preventing the chance for bacteria to form.
If live in or around Tarzana and you suspect your
child has baby bottle tooth decay, contact our office or schedule an appointment
for a consultation today.
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