Baby bottle tooth decay describes a condition that occurs in toddlers and infants. Your baby's teeth are important despite being temporary. Children require strong and healthy teeth to speak, chew food and smile. Therefore, it is important you ensure good oral care in order to protect your baby's teeth. This decay occurs due to long-term and recurrent exposure of your child's teeth to liquids comprising sugars for instance sodas and fruit juice. This condition could be serious and could result in infection and pain if untreated.
This condition occurs when you expose your baby's teeth to excess sugar. As a result, bacteria in your baby's mouth thrive on the sugar, multiply, and generate acid as waste product. The acid then attacks your baby's tooth enamel and teeth, leading to tooth decay. Tooth decay can also arise when you put your baby to bed with a bottle or when you use a bottle as a pacifier. This condition could also begin with the transmission of bacteria from mother to child. The transmission of these bacteria occurs through saliva. If your toddler or infant receives insufficient fluoride, he or she may also face an increased likelihood of developing tooth decay. Sugar is present in items such as:
- Infant formula
The caries that originate from decay can occur in any of your baby's teeth. However, they are frequently visible on their upper teeth. They can emerge as brown or dark spots on your baby's teeth. Common tooth decay symptoms include:
- Teeth cavities
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Fever arising from tooth or gum infection
- White spots on your baby's teeth
- Painful toothaches
- Mouth pain and infection could arise
- Irritability and swelling of the face and cheeks may accompany infection
Severe or widespread tooth decay could result in the following complications:
- Crooked permanent teeth
- Serious infections
- Increased likelihood of tooth abscess
- Reduce sugar consumption particularly between meals.
- Gradually dilute the contents of the bottle with water over a 2-3 week period.
- You should not use sweeteners on a pacifier.
- Avoid extended use of pacifiers.
- Restrict the quantity of juice your child receives.
- Promote healthy habits and restrict sweets.
- Your child should not go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar contained in the liquid will sit on your baby's teeth for hours. If it is necessary for your child to have a bottle, it should contain water.