Baby bottle tooth decay is the result of frequent, prolonged contact with liquids that contain sugars such as fruit juices, milk, formula or any other sweetened drinks. Evan human breast milk is also a contributor to baby bottle tooth decay. As the sugars break down in the mouth, bacteria start feeding on the sugars, produce acids and cause tooth decay.
If left untreated, decayed teeth can cause pain and discomfort. Your child may need baby root canals, crowns or even extractions when the badly decayed baby teeth are abscessed( infected). If the teeth are damaged or absent, they are unable to help guide permanent teeth into their proper position, possibly affecting future crowding or crooked teeth of adult teeth.
Some tips to preventing baby bottle tooth decay:
- To calm your baby, don’t give a bottle filled with sugary liquids; instead, give plain water or use a pacifier.
- Don’t coat your baby’s pacifier in a sweetener of any kind such as sugar, or honey as a way to comfort them.
- Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with sugary liquids. Plain water is best.
- Rinse your child’s mouth by drinking some water after each feeding. This helps remove any excess sugar preventing the chance for bacteria to form.
If you suspect your child has baby bottle tooth decay, contact Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s pediatric dental office in ALISO VIEJO or schedule an appointment for a consultation today.