Baby Bottle Tooth Decay & Early Childhood Dental Care

Children are more at risk for tooth decay that adults. Their eating habit and lack of oral hygiene is the reason why they are at a greater danger of losing their teeth prematurely. Even if tooth decay is among the most common dental diseases among littles ones, the good thing is, it’s entirely preventable. It takes just extra oral care and your child can have superior oral health. 
Tooth decay means early childhood cavities or caries, particularly when it strikes children under the age of six or younger. Parents however can become a bit extra careful and avoid their little ones from being struck with childhood tooth decay. And yes, there is baby bottle tooth decay as well which affects both babies and toddlers alike.  

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Parents should know that your babies are prone to cavities in the same way as adults are. In fact, baby bottle tooth decay is one of early forms of childhood caries caused to babies and toddlers. This is caused by the frequent and prolonged exposure to drinks containing sugar. Since sugar is extremely bad for teeth, your baby’s teeth will be at risk of cavities when they are in contact with such items. 
Drinks containing sugar can allow bacteria to grow in the mouth, which in turns, leads to acid formation. And acid can gradually chip away at your baby’s teeth causing tooth decay over a period of time. Parents should know that baby bottle tooth decay mostly affects the upper front teeth, but its severity may also engulf other teeth as well.

Symptoms of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay 
Many parents are not sure how to spot if their child has tooth decay. Well, this is something you need to care about as cavities are often not visible from naked eyes. You however can consult a pediatric dentist near me and know whether or not the symptoms exist.

Some of primary or early symptoms include -  
·   White spots on the teeth surface
·   White spots on the gum line
·   Tooth sensitivity and tooth pain
·   Brown or black spots on the tooth when the cavities are at advanced stage
·   bleeding or swollen gums for advanced stage tooth decay
·   In some cases, fever may also happen when the tooth decay has advanced
·   Bad breath when the decay has progressed to the next level

You can clearly see how symptoms for baby bottle tooth decay may vary depending whether it’s in early stages or advanced stages. Irrespective of the stage, you must take your child to the dentist when any of these symptoms is shown so that future dental problems can be avoided.

Tips to Prevent Early Childhood Caries
Early childhood caries and baby bottle tooth decay are not hard to prevent if you are on time and visit the dentist without delaying. There are a number of ways you can adopt to keep your child away from the risks of cavities and decay.

Here are some of tips to prevent early childhood caries –
1. Never let your child go to bed with a bottle of milk
Most parents do the mistake of sending their child to the bed with a bottle of milk. They do it for being unaware about the dental risks associated with the practice. They would not do it if told that this can cause tooth decay. You should know that milk has a high amount of sugar and your child’s exposure to it can increase the risk of cavities. Even juices can cause the same risk as they are also a very big source of sugar. So, don’t send your child to bed with a bottle containing milk juice or anything with sugary content. Water however is fine with no such risks attached.    

2. Clean their gums after each meal 
Not all parents are aware of the dental risks that lack of oral hygiene can cause to their children. Take for example, if you don’t clean the gums of your child after each meal, this can lead to early childhood caries or tooth decay. The foods your child take can stick around the teeth and gums, which can invite bacteria and lead to plaque formation. And you know this is when acid formation happens which is always bad for dental health. So, make sure you wipe the gums with a soft cloth soaked in cool water to minimize risk of cavities.    

3. Brush your child’s tooth/teeth regularly 
Some parents are not sure whether to brush their child’s first tooth. Well, you should else it can increase the likelihood of caries. In fact, dentists all over the world advise brushing the child’s tooth as soon as it emerges. However, the brushing should be gentle and only with a toothbrush having soft bristles. And yes, it’s good to use a fluoride-containing toothpaste for minimizing tooth decay dangers. Dentists also recommend using the paste not more than the size of a grain of rice as your child’s tooth can be sensitive to fluoride if used more than standard amount.   

4. Keep your child on a low sugar diet
It would be a mistake on your part to let your child indulge in lots of chocolates, candies, cakes and other stuff containing sugar. Such items are bad for teeth and gums, and needless to say, they can lead to tooth decay earlier than you expect. Parents should make it a point to limit sugary foods and drinks for their children. Else, such eating habit can lead to early childhood caries which you would never want. You can put you child on a diet that is low in sugar and that has more of fruits and vegetables. This will definitely serve them better.   

5. Take your child to the dentist regularly 
As an aware parent, it’s your job to take the child to the children dentist regularly for oral check-ups and examinations. And if your child experiences pain or sensitivity, you should not delay as these are early symptoms of tooth decay where a dentist can help by starting treatment on time. This is how you child can be away from the risk of cavities.

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