Baby bottle tooth decay or early childhood caries are common terms used when talking about tooth decay among children under the age of five. The principal cause for tooth decay in infants is the exposure of their teeth to drinks that contain sugar, usually through extended nursing or milk (including breast milk), formula or juice at bed time. Oral health probemsoccur when acid formed by bacteria damages the tooth enamel, causing demineralization and cavity.
Parents can also pass bacteria to babies through saliva. Bacteria may be spread by sharing saliva on spoons or cups, testing food before feeding them to babies and cleaning off a pacifier in the parent’s mouth.
Most dentists recommend an initial visit before the child’s first birthday to make sure teeth and gums are cared for properly.
Tooth decay can begin as soon as a baby’s teeth come in, usually by age six months. If the decay is not treated, it can spread and destroy the baby teeth. Children who have decay in their baby teeth are more likely to have decay in their adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost too early, your child may develop poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth, and damaged adult teeth.
The first signs of tooth decay are the white spots at the gum line on the upper front teeth. Tooth decay causes: mouthand gums discomfort, damage to the permanent teeth underneath the gums, loss of the space for the permanent teeth to come in, infections that can affect the child’s general health.
To conclude, the best approach to the baby bottle tooth decay is prevention. With a good home oral care and regular appointments to your dentist, your children will have healthy permanent teeth. In case you need advice from a professional, do not hesitate to call Dr. Arhiri for an appointment. We are glad to help both you and your child.