Even though they are temporary, your child’s baby teeth are essential, and are still vulnerable to cavities. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is frequently referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries.
Children require strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. Their first teeth likewise help make certain their adult teeth been available in correctly. It is necessary to begin infants off with excellent oral care to help secure their teeth for decades to come.
What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay usually happens in the upper front teeth, however other teeth might also be impacted.
There are lots of aspects which can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, extended exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks which contain sugar. Dental caries can happen when the baby is closed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.
Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caretaker) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mom puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby.
If your infant or toddler does not receive a sufficient quantity of fluoride, they might also have actually an increased risk for tooth decay. The good news is that decay is avoidable.
Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
- Try not to share saliva with the baby through typical use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
- When your child’s teeth are available in, brush them carefully with a child-size toothbrush and a smear (or grain of rice sized quantity) of fluoride tooth paste up until the age of 3.
- Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from the ages of 3 to 6.
- Monitor brushing till your child can be depended on to spit and not swallow tooth paste– generally not prior to he or she is 6 or 7.
- Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Prevent filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks.
- Babies need to complete their bedtime and nap time bottles prior to going to bed.
- If your child uses a pacifier, offer one that is tidy– don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
- Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his/her first birthday.
- Motivate healthy eating habits.
When your child’s first tooth appears, talk to your dental professional about arranging the first dental visit. Treat the first dental visit as you would a well-baby examination with the child’s physician. Remember: starting early is the key to a life time of good dental health. For additional information about nutrition and your baby, check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
This is also referred to as “early youth caries”, a common problem amongst children under the age of five, however can be avoided through awareness and prevention. If your child does start to show symptoms, your dental practitioner can provide treatment for baby bottle dental caries. The type of treatment depends on the seriousness of the decay. As with most health issues, the earlier the problem is attended to, the less extensive and invasive the treatment will be.
Treatment for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Treatment differs based on your child’s age and the intensity of the condition. At the earliest signs of a problem, you and your child’s dental professional can interact to develop a technique to management and treatment.
White spots on a tooth’s surface are early symptoms of baby bottle dental caries, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. At this stage, fluoride treatment or placing fluoride varnish can be used to remineralize all the teeth. This treatment in fact reverses decay in its earliest stages by helping to rebuild the surface area enamel. Your child’s dental practitioner may likewise recommend fluoride supplements. At this stage, you can also make changes to your baby’s diet to keep decay from advancing. These changes could consist of:
- Limiting acidic foods
- Restricting juices, especially citrus juices
- Replacing water for juice, formula or milk in your child’s bottle
These modifications ought to always be made in coordination with your child’s pediatrician and/or pediatric dental practitioner. Depending upon your child’s age, overall health and nutritional requirements, some dietary modifications could be unwanted.
If decay is found at later stages, fluoride treatments will not suffice. Symptoms of more severe decay include:
- Brown or black spots on the teeth
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Fever, swelling or irritation, which could show infection
- Bad breath
If your child reveals any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to see a dentist as quickly as possible. If decay spreads, your child might face extensive restoration treatments and even tooth loss.
If Your Child’s Tooth Decay Is Severe
Treatment for baby bottle tooth decay is similar as it is for adult dental caries. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry specifies that stainless steel crowns are frequently used since they are resilient and less most likely to require follow-up treatments or replacement. Your dentist may suggest sedation or perhaps basic anesthesia for substantial repair work, depending upon your child’s age and maturity level. In very severe cases, teeth may even need to be drawn out. This is most likely to be essential if the tooth is infected or has actually decomposed so thoroughly that it can not be brought back.
The Importance of Treatment for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
It’s a typical misconception that the premature loss of baby teeth isn’t an issue. After all, these teeth are going to fall out anyhow, so why concern if they fall out earlier than scheduled? In truth, there are many reasons to be worried about the premature loss of baby teeth.
The permanent teeth– which will serve your child into adulthood– are present in the jawbone from your baby’s early years. The baby teeth serve as a placeholder for the permanent teeth. If they are lost too soon, the spacing of the irreversible teeth can be impacted. Premature loss of primary teeth can result in crookeded long-term teeth together with other problems that could require extensive orthodontic treatment.
Tooth loss can also make it challenging for your child to eat a healthy, nutritious diet. It can also affect his/her capability to speak appropriately. Proper diction requires the presence of front teeth, so premature tooth loss might lead to a need for future speech therapy.
Bad hygiene habits might follow your child into teenage years and adulthood. The best way to guarantee continuous dental health as your child grows is to be sure that he or she learns good oral hygiene from the beginning.
The best technique to baby bottle dental caries is prevention. If your child does experience early childhood dental caries, you and your child’s dental professional can interact to determine the best treatment choices.