Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can begin with a baby’s first tooth. If you let the problem go, it can mean big problems later in life. Here are some simple solutions.

Elijah cries at bedtime with a bottle of water. His mother, Carolyn, says, “He cries for the bottle of apple juice specifically.” As soon as she gives him a bottle of juice, he stops crying. There’s only one problem. His teeth are rotting.

Pediatric dentist: “When you put a child to sleep, you get a reduction in salivary flow. The liquid pools behind the upper front teeth. Then all night, or as long as the child is sleeping, that area is where the decay starts.”

The condition is called baby bottle tooth decay. Three-year-old Sammy also has it. Sammy’s father. “He has several teeth that need little baby crowns,” he says. “They are going to put him asleep and do them all at one time.”

Sugar from juice, formulas or milk combine with bacteria in the mouth and cause teeth to decay. “These teeth will abscess and become infected and be painful just like adult teeth,” says Dr. “That’s not a consequence you would want for any child.”

Elijah doesn’t like it, but dentists recommend checkups starting at the age of one or sooner if you see problems. They also recommend brushing your baby’s teeth twice a day. Be sure to get the back and insides. Finally, don’t let your child fall asleep with a bottle. Dentists suggest you switch the baby from a bottle to a cup at the age of one.

It’s important to protect the baby teeth because they help keep a space in the jaw for adult teeth to grow into. If they’re lost too early, other teeth may shift and not leave enough room for new teeth to grow in.

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