The health of a child’s baby teeth is particularly vital to their overall health and the health of their future permanent teeth too. Children need strong baby teeth to speak properly, chew their food and ultimately for their permanent teeth to grow in appropriately. When your kids begin to develop their first teeth, it is exceptionally significant that you instantaneously start to take steps to inhibit oral health issues from occurring. Infant teeth are predominantly vulnerable to problems, so it is essential that you develop a good oral hygiene routine immediately. One of the principal causes of oral health problems in infants is baby bottle tooth decay. It is a parent’s responsibility to take charge of their kid’s oral health from the start and implement healthy oral hygiene practices to prevent and lessen the risk of dental caries, including baby bottle tooth decay!
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
Infant caries is the medical terminology for tooth decay. When tooth decay happens in infants and tots, it is often referred to as, baby bottle tooth decay, nursing bottle caries and early childhood caries. Most often, baby bottle tooth decay happens in the front upper and lower teeth but can also become an issue in any of the other teeth as well.
Reasons for baby bottle tooth decay
Numerous different things can cause early childhood caries, but most recurrently, continuous exposure to drinks that have sugar causes tooth decay in babies and toddlers. When a baby is made to sleep with a bottle or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for an irritable baby, tooth decay can develop. When sugar rests on and coats the teeth, decay materializes more rapidly. Toddlers usually devour too much sugar when they are unreasonably provided with certain types of formula or milk, sugared snacks or other sweetened liquids like juice to soothe them or help them fall asleep. Tooth decay is an oral ailment that can even start when a mother (or primary caregiver) passes cavity-causing bacteria to a newborn. The bacteria are transferred via saliva, so this can befall if a mother shares a spoon with a baby, for instance. Also, a baby might be at an increased risk for tooth decay if he/she is not getting adequate amount of fluoride.
Caries caused by baby bottle tooth decay can form in any of the baby teeth, but they most frequently occur on the upper-front teeth.They appear as abnormal white, dark, or brown blemishes on the teeth. They might also cause teeth to become more sensitive than usual.
Why is baby bottle tooth decay so hazardous?
Baby caries can become a very critical issue, and if a tooth is lost too early owing to decay or left untreated, septicity and pain can follow. Also, if baby teeth do not develop properly, because of decay particularly, an infant might establish deficient eating habits, experience speech complications and permanent teeth might grow congested and misaligned. Overall, dental pain, misaligned adult teeth, chewing pain or difficulties and serious infections are all prospective complications of baby bottle tooth decay. If decay is severe enough, the child dentist in Delhi i.e. Dr. Arnab Sengupta might have to even remove baby teeth prematurely, which is not idyllic.
Preventing the problem
There are countless ways to practice good oral hygiene for infants so as to shrink the risk and prevent baby bottle tooth decay:
- Never put a child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar in the liquid will stay on the baby’s teeth for hours, and ultimately start causing decay. If a toddler must use a bottle to fall asleep, fill it with water.
- Do not let a child carry around a bottle of juice or milk.This forms the bad habit of the child continually sucking on a bottle and coating their teeth with sugar.
- Try to never fill bottles with soft drinks, juices or sugar water.
- By 12 to 14 months of age, the child should be totally weaned off the bottle feed.
- Do not encourage lengthy pacifier use and never dip a pacifier in syrup or honey. NEVER give honey to an infant under 1 year old for any reason! This can be very detrimental.
- Limit the amount of juice a child ingests and promote healthy eating habits by restraining sweets.
- Make certain to wipe a newborn’s gums after every feeding with a clean moist washcloth or gauze pad.