According to the Australian Dental Association, “one-quarter of Australian children under six have tooth decay that requires filling, and one in ten require extraction. Tooth decay rates in Australia are rising, especially among young kids.” If you are like other parents ignoring your baby’s decaying milk teeth as they would be replaced anyway, you are wrong. Yes, baby teeth help children to chew and speak properly, and also guide the permanent adult teeth into position. Therefore, it is essential to take care of your child’s baby teeth from the beginning.
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
Tooth decay in babies and toddlers is also called early childhood caries or baby bottle tooth decay. Bottle tooth decay often occurs in a baby’s upper front teeth, but it may also affect the other teeth as well. Tooth decay in babies is caused by the prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids like milk, juice, cordial, honey, and soft drinks that contain sugar.
When sugar is left to remain on teeth, it feeds the bacteria which are present on the plaque. Plague is a sticky, invisible film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums daily. This plaque feeds on sugar and produce acids that affect tooth’s enamel. Every time when a child consumes a sugary liquid, acid attacks both the teeth and gums. After several attacks, it decays the teeth. Pacifier may seem lifesaver for you, but this condition is associated with children whose pacifiers are dipped in honey or syrup. It literally destroys your baby’s teeth and gums, and you may end up visiting the emergency dentist Parramatta due to pain and other discomforts.
What are the signs of tooth decay in babies and infants?
The first sign of tooth decay is white spots on the gum line on the front tooth. In the early stages, you can see brown spots on the teeth, and gums may be red and swollen. However, if you see notice black or brown or white spots, visit the children dentist in Parramatta as early as possible.
How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?
The key to preventing early childhood caries is teaching and practicing good oral habits from an early age, and undoing a few bad ones that affect the teeth and gums of your kids.
- Never allow your child to falls asleep with a bottle containing sugary drinks such as milk, juice, etc.
- Make sure to clean and brush your child’s teeth and gums twice a day to help establish healthy teeth.
- Visit the dentist when your child’s first tooth comes through and schedule an appointment at the Parramatta dental clinic every six months.
- Brush the teeth from the ages of 3 to 6, and supervising brushing until your child learns spit is essential.
- Use bottles only for formula and milk and avoid filling juices in the bottle.
- Avoid using pacifiers. However, if your child is used to pacifier do not dip in honey.
- Encourage healthy oral habits to prevent dental diseases.
Primary teeth may be temporary, but they need to be strong enough. If a child loses a milk tooth, the tooth beside it may not erupt properly. Early childhood is preventable, and practicing good oral habits is the key.