Baby Bottles and Tooth Decay

Did you know that baby teeth can be affected by tooth decay? When Denton County dentists encounter this problem, the culprit is often a baby bottle that has been filled with a sugary drink. The sweet residue may linger in the mouth, offering a food source to oral bacteria that cause decay.

Unfortunately, far too many parents give their children sugar-sweetened juices or other beverages in bottles, even allowing their babies to fall asleep with those bottles. Parents should avoid getting into this habit to begin with or help the child break the habit if it’s already been established.

Parents may underestimate the importance of the baby teeth because they eventually fall out. Don’t take your baby’s teeth for granted, though. The baby teeth actually perform important functions in chewing, and speech.

Dentists want to help ensure good oral health in your child from infancy so that your child can continue to reap lifelong benefits.

Parents who want to prevent cavities from baby bottles can get advice from the dentist on what steps to take. Here are a few suggestions. First and foremost, use only water or milk in bottles, and if your child needs a bottle to sleep, only give him or her a water-filled one. Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in sugar, and limit the amount of sweets in your child’s diet in general.

The consequences of baby bottle decay can last into adulthood. For example, cavities in baby teeth may lead to tooth loss. When baby teeth are lost prematurely, it can alter the alignment of the permanent teeth. The baby teeth serve as placeholders, so if one falls out early, the permanent tooth may emerge too soon and shift into the wrong position.

Baby bottle-related tooth decay is just one of many concerns for pediatric dental patients. Ideally, your child should have his or her first dental check-up shortly after the first tooth emerges and no later than the first birthday. This pattern will allow the dental professionals to keep tabs on your child’s oral health and dental development.