Early Childhood Caries
According to the American Dental Association, Baby Bottle Tooth Decay occurs when an infant or toddler experiences bacterial buildup around their baby teeth.
Also known as “bottle mouth” or “bottle rot,” this condition usually affects the upper teeth in the front of the mouth. When left untreated, this condition can cause cavities in baby teeth. In severe cases, decay can lead to pain and tooth loss.
Here are some tips to avoid baby-bottle tooth decay:
- After each feeding, you should gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean wet cloth or gauze to remove bacteria.
- If your child’s pacifier falls on the ground you may be tempted to put it in your mouth to clean it off, but avoid doing this. You do not want to swap saliva with your baby because this can introduce new decay-producing bacteria into their mouths.
- Start using fluoride toothpaste on your child’s teeth once they turn 3 years old (only a pea-sized amount). Dr. Durán can tell you how much toothpaste should be used depending on your child’s age.
- Avoid sugary drinks like fruit juices, which can increase cavities in your child.
- Make sure your little one drinks their formula or milk and then has their gums and teeth properly cleaned before going down for a nap (do not put your child to bed with juice or milk).
- Make sure that your child starts to incorporate healthy foods into their diet and limit sugar.
- Bring your child in for their first dental visit by the time they turn one year old or once their teeth come in (whichever happens first).