Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Prevention and Options for Young Children

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Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

April 10, 2018

When infants are newborns, it seems like they have bottles in their mouths nearly every hour of the day. As they grow older, their feeding times become less frequent, but bottles are still involved. A concern among parents and dental professionals is baby bottle tooth decay.

This ailment occurs when a child sucks on a bottle for long periods of time with adverse reactions occurring across the teeth and gums. Explore the prevention steps and possible solutions to baby bottle tooth decay so that your child can have a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.

Early Warning Signs

Babies seem to be born with perfect skin, eyes, and tiny features. As they start teething, the baby teeth erupt in pearly white shapes. Unless there’s an underlying condition, all baby teeth should be white and nearly spotless.

An early sign of baby bottle tooth decay is white spots. They may appear like shadows on the teeth. It’s critical to watch for any aberrations from the norm as you feed your infant. Catching any early warning signs can be the best way of avoiding a cosmetic procedure in the future.

Severe Conditions

A dental or cosmetic procedure may be necessary if a baby’s teeth start to show severe conditions. Black spots, swollen gums, and bad breath are hallmarks of severe decay. If parents are observant about their children’s dental health, avoiding unwanted conditions should be simple. You don’t want an infection to set in that might lead to oral issues and dental implants in the future.

Initial Prevention

Start your prevention steps now so that your baby doesn’t have to go through any discomfort. Don’t allow them to fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth. Offer water between formula or juice feedings. Brush their gums and emerging teeth with baby-approved tools. By practicing these healthy steps, preventing baby bottle tooth decay is possible.

Altering Feeding Habits

Infants don’t need a steady intake of juice. In reality, water, formula, and milk are better selections. Give juice only on occasion. The sugars and acidity are particularly harmful to baby teeth. By avoiding an overabundance of acidity in the child’s mouth, the saliva can perform its natural duty of cleaning out the oral cavity and protecting the tooth enamel.

Considering Dental Intervention

If baby bottle tooth decay continues on, an evaluation by an oral surgeon may be necessary. The baby’s teeth and gums might require oral surgery so that infection and further decline don’t impact their health in other ways.

The baby won’t require dental implants, but he or she will probably have teeth pulled and the gums inspected. Subsequent exams are necessary to verify that the adult teeth are coming in as straight as possible.

Impacts on the Future

If parents don’t visit a dental or oral surgeon for corrosive issues with their babies’ teeth, future problems will be concerns. Declining baby teeth can lead to misaligned adult teeth. Poor dental habits that form in childhood will now extend into adulthood.

Ideally, be a role model when it comes to dental care. Parents should show their children that regular visits and preventive care are critical at any stage of life. This life strategy improves everyone’s health so that dental surprises are almost nonexistent.

Explore your oral surgery options at Good Samaritan Dental Implant Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, today.

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Hello there, great choice moving towards the personal dental health care you desire!

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