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Baby teeth may be temporary, but they can still have a huge impact on a child's health. One common problem that occurs in children with developing teeth is baby bottle tooth decay. Let's review what it is and how to prevent it.
What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay in early childhood is caused by bacteria. Breast milk and baby formula contain sugar that stays on the teeth if it's not cleaned off. Bacteria feed on the sugar causing acid to develop. This acid then starts to eat away at the tooth enamel leading to tooth decay. One of the main causes of baby bottle tooth decay is when an infant falls asleep with a bottle or uses a sippy cup for an extended period of time.
How Do You Fix Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay in toddlers can be reversible. Our pediatric dentists at Cibolo Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics can examine your child's teeth and determine the best treatment plan. Depending on the severity of the tooth decay, treatment plans could involve fluoride treatments, a healthier diet, or tooth extraction.
How Do You Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
The best prevention is to clean your child's mouth daily. If your child doesn't have teeth yet, you can still gently clean their gums to ensure they stay healthy. Once the first tooth appears, you'll start using a toothbrush and add toothpaste later in their development. Additionally, don't allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle containing anything except water. Finally, it's recommended that you start bringing your child into our office for regular exams when they turn one or when their first tooth comes in. Early intervention could prevent severe problems from developing.
Pediatric Care at Cibolo Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics
One of the benefits of visiting a pediatric dentist is that they specialize in children and problems that affect growing teeth. Your child's comfort is our top priority. We take the time to ensure that your child understands what's happening and that they feel safe. If it's time to schedule an appointment, please give us a call. We look forward to helping your child have a great smile into adulthood.