Avoiding Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is Simply a Matter of Paying Attention to the Pediatric Dentist

Avoiding Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is Simply a Matter of Paying Attention to the Pediatric Dentist

Parents of infants and young children must research for a pediatric dentist near me immediately after the arrival of the newborn to understand how they can prevent baby bottle tooth decay that is also known as early childhood caries. It is a problem of frequent and long-lasting feedings specifically at night although it is identified as baby bottle tooth decay.

The Causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

When infants are fed sugar-rich liquids such as breastmilk and formula before bedtime their teeth retain the sugar to allow bacteria in the mouth to convert the sugar into acids. The acids erode the outer enamel of the teeth to begin tooth decay. Babies do not have thicker enamel on their teeth like permanent teeth making it easier for the acid to destroy them.

Some of the sugary liquids from the teeth are washed away by the saliva in the mouth during the day which proves helpful if the parent adheres to the advice provided by the pediatric dentist and brushes and cleans the teeth. Parents will receive advice from the pediatric dentist near them that the flow of saliva decreases during the nights when the baby does not swallow as often. It provides the bacteria a field day to convert the sugars and produce acids that cause decay.

The first molars and the upper front teeth are recipients of the initial damage with the lower front teeth remaining free from the same.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Infants?

  • Parents must ensure they clean their baby’s teeth after every bottle or breastfeeding session. If the baby is being provided any medicine or cough syrup containing sugar the teeth should be cleaned after providing the same.
  • Avoiding putting sugary liquids in the baby’s bottle when putting him or her to bed a suggested. Even better is the suggestion not to provide the baby with a bottle in bed.
  • The baby bottle shouldn’t be used as a pacifier.
  • The baby shouldn’t be allowed to fall asleep either while breastfeeding or the bottle especially during the nights.
  • Babies have a natural inclination to suck. Babies that need more time to suck after being fed should be given a pacifier or a bottle of plain water.

Dealing with Bottle-Fed Babies

  • The pediatric dentist near Bloomfield suggests that babies shouldn’t be given milk or sweetened liquids at bedtime while also mentioning that bedtime feeding should be avoided altogether.
  • The bottle should only be used for feedings.
  • The baby should be weaned from the bottle to a cup by age one.

Breastfed babies must be prevented from the habit of all-night feedings and care must be taken to ensure the baby does not fall asleep while nursing. Feedings must only last for 30 minutes and frequent on-demand feedings must be avoided.

Babies Mouths Need Cleaning As Well

The mouth of the baby must be cleaned at least once a day even before the first teeth erupt. A clean gauze pad or cloth can be used to achieve this goal which should become a regular habit. The pediatric dentist in Bloomfield suggests the following tips for parents to clean their baby’s mouth.

Depending on the age of the child parents can use one of the following methods to clean the teeth and gums:

  • Hold the infant in the lap and support the head with the hand to ensure visibility into the mouth.
  • Place the child in a high seated chair to stand behind him or her and brush the teeth.
  • Be seated on a sofa with the child’s head in the lap to clean the teeth.
  • A clean gauze pad or soft cloth should be placed over the finger and dipped in water to make it damp but not wet for wiping the child’s teeth and gums gently.
  • Begin using a small and soft toothbrush when the child’s first teeth begin to erupt for brushing. All surfaces of the teeth should be brushed along with the gums.
  • Parents shouldn’t consider using toothpaste but if they think of it as beneficial they can use a pea-sized grain of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Children will be able to brush their teeth by age 11 but until then parents are recommended to watch and supervise their children considering their child’s abilities.

Childhood dental caries or baby bottle tooth decay is a severe condition that can also cause cavities in the mouths of children by the age of two. Parents must accept the recommendations made by the pediatric dentist in Bloomfield and adhere to the same stringently to avoid the problem of tooth decay and the need for extensive dental work at an early age.

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