Young children are at risk of something called baby bottle tooth decay, but what exactly is that? This guide will explain this condition and how to prevent it.
The first set of teeth your baby grows is important for their overall health. It might be easy to overlook dental care when it comes to baby teeth because you know that they will eventually fall out.
However, studies show that neglecting the dental hygiene of your child’s first set of teeth can be detrimental to their overall health. What’s more, many children do not get the dental care that they need. In 2009, over 4.5 million children did not receive pediatric dental care due to issues of insurance.
If your baby is growing their first set of teeth, you want to ensure that you avoid baby bottle tooth decay. Tooth decay in children can cause permanent damage and difficulty with dental hygiene in the future.
Keep reading to learn more about baby bottle tooth decay and how you can prevent this condition with the right pediatrician.
What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay is a condition that occurs in babies, generally around the front upper teeth. Babies who suffer from this condition can experience discoloration in the teeth, swollen gums, or bad breath. The symptoms can vary depending on the child and are the causes of the condition.
It has many different causes, but exposure to sugar is one of the main causes. Putting juices in your baby’s bottle, giving your child sugary snacks, and transferring saliva through utensils can cause tooth decay in your infant.
With baby bottle tooth decay, there are some visible symptoms, however, some signs can only be diagnosed by a pediatric dentist. One of the ways that you can prevent this condition is by visiting your pediatric dentist at the first sign of growing teeth and regularly after that.
Symptoms of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Knowing what to look for is an important way that you can help prevent tooth decay in infants. The earlier the intervention, the better the chances of preserving your baby’s oral care.
Tooth decay in babies usually begins on the gumline of their front teeth. While symptoms and severity can vary, here are some common signs of baby bottle tooth decay:
- White spots along the gumline
- Pain in the mouth
- Infections in the mouth and gums causing fever
- Bad breath
- Black or brown spots on the teeth
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gym
These are some of the visible signs of baby bottle tooth decay but it is possible that there are milder signs that require the help of a pediatric dentist. Not only can neglecting your baby’s teeth cause pain and discomfort, but it can also lead to permanent dental damage.
Without proper treatment, baby bottle tooth decay can lead to speech problems, problematic eating habits, and crooked teeth. In severe situations, it can also cause damage to your child’s adult teeth.
Starting intervention early is important. Be sure to take your baby to a pediatric dentist when their first teeth begin growing in.
How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Preventing baby bottle tooth decay can spare your child the painful symptoms of this condition. Poor bottle-feeding habits and lack of dental hygiene are the common culprits of baby bottle tooth decay and there are ways that you can help maintain your baby’s oral care.
Here are some common ways that you can prevent this condition:
- Limit or avoid sugary beverages or juices
- Avoid putting your child to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk
- Fill your baby’s bottle with water for bedtime
- Limit or avoid sugary snacks
- Avoid filling a sippy cup with sugary juices
- Avoid sharing utensils with your child
- Use clean and sanitized utensils to feed your child
- Start cup-training at six months
- Avoiding dipping a pacifier into under or sugar
- Keep the pacifier clean of bacteria
- Adopt proper dental hygiene practices early
- Clean your child’s gums after eating
- Make regular visits with your pediatric dentist.
These are easy ways that you can help prevent tooth decay in your child. If you’re looking for a trusted pediatric dentist, the team at Knoxville Pediatric Density can help with your child’s dental care.
How to Treat Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Treating baby bottle tooth decay is possible, especially at the beginning stages. There are several different treatment options, depending on the severity of the condition. Here are some of the treatments that a pediatric dentist can recommend:
- Fluoride treatment
- Dental partials replacing the premature loss of baby teeth
- Dental crowns
- Dental maintainers to hold baby teeth in place
If there is severe decay, these restorative dental procedures might be necessary. Your pediatric dentist will be able to access the damage and ensure that your child gets the right treatment. Regular visits will allow you to monitor the health of your baby’s teeth and help develop proactive dental hygiene habits.
Making Dental Care a Priority for Your Child
Part of maintaining your child’s overall health is ensuring that they get the right dental care. Without proper care of your child’s first set of teeth, they can develop baby bottle tooth decay and irreversible dental damage. Be sure to take the proper preventive measures, to ensure that your child does not develop this condition.
Additionally, recognizing the first signs of baby bottle tooth decay can help restore your child’s dental damage. A healthy set of teeth is sure to make your child happy and healthy.
Visit our website and schedule an appointment today with Knoxville Pediatric Dentistry and give your child a head start on dental care.