Baby Tooth Decay: It's Possible & PreventablePublished 09/25/2013
Baby teeth may be temporary, but the care you give them can have long lasting effects. Baby teeth are considered place holders for adult teeth. If they are lost early, it can lead to future spacing issues of permanent teeth. In addition, early tooth loss due to decay can lead to poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth and can even damage future adult teeth. Taking preventative measures early on is key to a lifetime of good dental health.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Believe it or not, letting your baby go to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice can cause decay. This is known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. The frequent and prolonged exposure of drinks that contain sugar, including baby formula and milk, leads to decay. Why? Because during sleep less saliva is produced and these liquids are able to sit on your baby’s gums and teeth as they sleep. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar and produce acid that attacks the teeth.
- Avoid giving your baby milk or juice at bedtime. Use water or a pacifier as good alternatives. Also, avoid dipping the pacifier in sugar or honey.
- Avoid sugary drinks in general and limit juice and other beverages to mealtimes instead of allowing your baby to have bottles or sippy cups throughout the day.
- Transition to a drinking cup as soon as your child is able. Drinking from a cup is less likely to cause liquid to collect around teeth.
Bacteria Passed From Mom
Tooth decay can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. Because bacteria can be transferred through saliva, there are some things that mom’s and caregivers should be careful not to do.
- Avoid sharing anything that would transfer saliva including cups, spoons, toothbrushes, etc.
- Do not clean a pacifier with your mouth.
Oral Hygiene For Babies
Even before the first tooth erupts, you can begin practicing good oral hygiene on your baby’s mouth to ward off any attacks on their future teeth.
- Gently wipe down your baby’s gums at least twice a day with a soft, damp washcloth. This will keep bacteria from clinging to your baby’s gums, which can damage their baby teeth as they come in.
- When the first baby teeth start to come in, you can begin to use a toothbrush and water to clean the teeth. Make sure to use a soft brush with a small head and large handle. Brush gently around the teeth, including the front and back.
- Schedule an appointment with a children’s dentist when your baby’s first tooth comes in.
- At about age 1, you can begin using a pea-sized amount of a non-fluoridated toothpaste. Wait to use fluoride toothpaste until your child is at least 2 years old.
- Brush your baby’s teeth until he or she is old enough to hold the brush. Continue to supervise the process until your child can rinse and spit without assistance.
- There are currently no posts made in 2017/2018, please check back later!
- Dec. 2014 - Maximize Your Dental Benefits Before December 31st!
- Nov. 2014 - Why You Should Never Delay Dental Treatment
- Oct. 2014 - Teeth-Friendly Halloween Ideas
- Sept. 2014 - Dental Sealants for Children's Teeth
- Aug. 2014 - Is Your Child Missing School Due To Dental Issues?
- July 2014 - When To Wean Kids From Pacificers, Sippy-Cups, Etc.
- June 2014 - Summertime Snacks That Brighten Your Smile
- May 2014 - Health Problems Tied To Gum Disease
- Apr. 2014 - Dental Sedation For Children
- Mar. 2014 - What Parents Should Know About Fluoride
- Feb. 2014 - Children's Dental Health Month
- Dec. 2013 - 7 New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Smile
- Nov. 2013 - Use Your Dental Insurance Before The New Year
- Oct. 2013 - Halloween Tips For Treats
- Oct. 2013 - Honored To Serve Our Military
- Sept. 2013 - Baby Tooth Decay: It's Possible & Preventable
- Aug. 2013 - Help Your Child Overcome Fear Of Dentists
- July 2013 - Cosmetic Dentistry For Children, or Not?
- July 2013 - Bad Teeth, Just After Two Weeks!
- June 2013 - Trouble With Fruity Drinks, Treats & Soda
- May 2013 - Children's Dental Care: True or False
- May 2013 - Children's Oral Care Problems
- Apr. 2013 - Breakfast Cereal & Children's Dental Care
- Mar. 2013 - Mouthwashing, Flossing and Kids
- Mar. 2013 - Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy
- Feb. 2013 - Tips For A Healthier Mouth (Pt. 2)
- Feb. 2013 - Tips For A Healthier Mouth (Pt. 1)