You might not associate tooth decay with babies, but even infants’ teeth can have problems. Tooth decay in infants, commonly referred to as “baby bottle tooth decay,” is quite a serious concern. Since maintaining oral health in babies is a key part of healthy development, here is some information about baby bottle tooth decay.
All tooth decay is caused in part by acid produced by bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria feed on sugars left behind when we eat, and the acid they produce eats away at tooth enamel. Tooth decay in infants is most commonly brought about by prolonged exposure to sugary liquids, such as juice or formula. These can cling to their teeth for a long time. Bottles are a main culprit because the decay typically happens to the upper front teeth. Another common cause is use of a pacifier that has been dipped in sugar, honey, or syrup.
Now, simply using as bottle isn’t necessarily problematic. The main trouble occurs when a child is given a bottle to fall asleep. When this happens, sugars can spend up to the whole night in his or her mouth without being washed out. The best ways to avoid baby bottle tooth decay is to clean your baby’s teeth after every feeding. You should start brushing teeth as soon as they appear. You can also wipe your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth.
Maintaining healthy teeth in your baby will help ensure a lifetime of good oral health. To learn more about what you can do to take care of your child’s teeth or schedule an appointment with Dr. Vinh T. Pham, please call Kirkwood Dental today. We are pleased to provide your whole family top-quality dental care in Campbell, CA!