Early Tooth Decay...

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Early Tooth Decay

One serious form of decay among young children is early childhood tooth decay, also known as baby bottle tooth decay. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk, formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks. They baby teeth can become decayed almost as soon as they erupt.

Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle filled with a liquid other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. The liquid pools around the child’s teeth giving plaque bacteria ample opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel.

If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. If your child won’t fall asleep without the bottle and its usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle’s contents with water over a period of two to three weeks. It is important with this method to have a specific end date for total elimination of the milk/juice in mind and to stick to it!

After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque and sugars. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place the child’s head in your lap or lay the child on a dressing table or the floor. Whatever position you use, be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily.

Prevention of early childhood tooth decay is always easier than treatment. If you notice a change in your child’s teeth or are worried take them along to the dentist. Small changes and simple treatments at this stage can prevent the situation from worsening and could potentially prevent pain and infection from developing.
Baby Sleeping with Bottle