Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when your baby’s teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids over a long period of time. Sugary liquids can be milk, fruit juice, formula, sodas, and other sweetened drinks. The sugars in these drinks pool around your child’s teeth and gums, feeding the bacteria found in plaque. Every time your child consumes a sugary drink, acid is produced by the bacteria found in plaque, attacking the teeth and gums. After numerous instances of this, tooth decay can begin.
If you give your infant or child a sugary drink during nap time or at night, your child is at risk for tooth decay. This is because during sleep, your child’s flow of saliva decreases, allowing the sugary drink to linger on his or her teeth for an extended period of time. If left untreated, your child’s tooth decay can cause pain and infection, and if his or her teeth become severely decayed, tooth extraction may be needed. Remember, healthy baby teeth usually result in healthy adult permanent teeth.
We suggest never allowing a child to fall asleep with a bottle containing formula, milk, juice, or any other sugary drinks. You should also clean and massage your baby’s gums after every feeding to begin establishing healthy teeth and aid in teething.
As soon as your child has his or her first tooth, plaque removal activities should be started. When you’re brushing your child’s teeth, always use a soft toothbrush and water. Speak to your Austin dentist if you’re considering using toothpaste on your child’s teeth before his or her’s second birthday.
If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Austin, call Lifetime Smiles today to make an appointment!