DO YOU EVER put your baby to bed with a bottle? It may seem harmless. If the bottle contains juice or even milk it may begin to damage their teeth causing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.

Bacteria Cause Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Milk and juice are full of sugars that combine with bacteria that are normally in the mouth to produce acids. When a baby drifts off to sleep with a bottle still in his or her mouth the fluid sits around the teeth and slowly erodes the enamel throughout the night. At night we produce less saliva that can wash some of this fluid away so the risk of damage is high.

This acid results in tooth decay that can become painful. Dealing with child tooth decay may mean fillings, metal crowns or even extractions. Since children’s teeth are still coming through they are also more susceptible to decay at the gum line. This decay can become so bad that a general anesthetic is sometimes required to extract the rotten teeth.

Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Good dental health habits start before your baby has grown a full set of milk teeth. Protect your baby’s teeth with a good diet and regular brushing.

Top Tips For Keeping Baby’s Teeth Healthy

  1. Use age appropriate toothpaste. For children under 3 years old it should contain 1000ppm of fluoride.
  2. To brush a baby’s teeth sit them on your knee with their head resting against your chest
  3. Brush teeth twice a day. Just before bed, and at another time suits your child’s routine.
  4. Some children don’t like having their teeth brushed so try not to battle with them. Turn it into a game or brush your teeth at the same time so set a good example.
  5. After brushing your child’s teeth before bed, use only water in their bottle.

Baby teeth may be temporary, but they’re essential for your child’s health and development. They help your child eat and help with speech. They also play an important role in guiding adult teeth as they come through.

We’re Here To Help

We’re here to help you help your child during this important time of life. If you have any questions about your child’s dental health have a look at our parents webpage or you can call our Gravesend dental practice on 01474 365671 or 0844 576 9905. We are proud to be able to join forces to make sure your child has excellent oral health.

Top image by Flickr user Zhao ! used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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