PREVENTING BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY

Tooth decayTooth Decay is basically caused when there is prolonged contact of any liquid other than water in the baby's mouth. This can happen from putting her to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, juice, soft drinks, sugar water, sugared drinks, etc. When liquid from a baby bottle builds up in the mouth, the natural or added sugars found in the liquid are changed to acid by germs in the mouth. This acid then starts to dissolve the teeth (mainly the upper front teeth), causing them to decay. Allowing her to suck on a bottle or breastfeed for longer than a mealtime, either when awake or asleep, can also cause tooth decay. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay can lead to severe damage to your child's baby teeth and can also cause dental problems that affect her permanent teeth.

But there are steps for preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Keep these pointers in mind as you care for your child's teeth:

  • Never put your child to bed with a bottle in her mouth. Keep this always in mind so as to remove the bottle even if you are feeding her at bedtime. Your baby will as it is give up having milk at night when she reaches around 7 to 8 months.

  • Remember to give your baby a bottle only during meals. Do not use the bottle as a pacifier; do not allow your child to walk around with it or to drink it for extended periods.

  • Teach your child to drink from a cup as soon as possible, usually by 1 year of age. Drinking from a cup does not cause the liquid to collect around the teeth, and a cup cannot be taken to bed.

  • Keep your baby's mouth clean. This is an important part of preventing tooth decay. After feedings, gently brush your baby's gums and any baby teeth with a soft infant toothbrush.

 

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