FAQs About Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Even if your little one only has one tooth, good dental hygiene practices are important. Part of that is monitoring your baby's bottle feeding. If your child is still drinking from a bottle, he or she is at risk of developing baby bottle tooth decay. To help prevent it, this is what you need to know. 

What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when your child experiences decay that results from being exposed to sugar. The sugar is commonly found in formula or milk. Sugar from those substances can stick to your baby's teeth and cause a buildup of bacteria in his or her mouth. As a result, the enamel is weakened and your child's teeth are left vulnerable to the development of cavities. 

The decay can occur in any part of your child's mouth, but it usually begins in the front of the mouth. Your child can experience pain and even lose his or her baby teeth before it is time. As a result, your child could experience problems with speaking and chewing. 

Baby bottle tooth decay could even impact your child's adult teeth. If left untreated, the adult teeth can suffer developmental problems as they erupt. 

What Can You Do?

Fortunately for your baby, baby bottle tooth decay is preventable. By working with your dentist and practicing good dental care and eating habits at home, your baby's teeth can remain in good shape. 

One of the most important steps you need to take is cleaning your baby's mouth after each feeding. You can use a washcloth to wipe your baby's gums before his or her teeth erupt. After the first tooth makes its appearance, use a toothbrush with no toothpaste to clean the mouth. Refrain from using toothpaste until your baby is older and can brush without swallowing the paste. 

Avoid putting your baby to sleep with a bottle of milk, juice, formula. While your baby is asleep, his or her saliva production is decreased. As a result, there is less saliva to wash away the sugar from the sweetened drink. If your child needs a bottle to sleep, put only water in it. 

Your baby needs to see the dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts. The dentist can treat your baby's teeth with a special varnish that helps to protect them from decay. He or she can also offer additional tips on keeping your baby's teeth in good health. For more information, check out websites like http://valleyoakdentalgroup.com/.