Tooth decay in babies and toddlers is known as baby bottle tooth decay. It occurs when the sugars found in sweet liquids, such as milk, formula, and fruit juice, cling to an infant’s teeth overnight. If left untreated, it can lead to a painful infection.
Discover why it’s important to fight baby bottle tooth decay.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Is Detrimental to Your Baby’s Future
Some moms underestimate the importance of their baby’s teeth because they’re temporary. However, baby teeth are essential for speaking, chewing, and smiling. Unfortunately, if your little one develops baby bottle tooth decay, they may form poor eating habits, speech impairment, and damaged adult teeth.
In today’s blog, we will discuss baby bottle tooth decay in depth.
The Importance of Healthy Baby Teeth
It’s essential to keep your baby’s teeth clean and healthy for the following reasons:
- They make chewing easier for your baby, which helps them learn to eat on their own.
- They help form the shape of your child’s face
- They make it easier for your baby to learn how to talk
- They’re placeholders for permanent adult teeth
Tooth decay in babies can result in:
- Severe mouth pain
- Costly dental care
- Damage to the permanent teeth underneath the gums
- Frequent hospital visits
- Infections that can impact your baby’s overall health
Causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
If you give your baby formula before bedtime, the sugar will stay on their teeth, and oral bacteria can turn it into acid. Furthermore, the acid can eat away at your baby’s enamel, (the outer coating of the teeth) which might lead to tooth decay.
To inspect your baby’s teeth for decay, have a look at their upper front teeth and molars, as these are the first areas to become infected.
What’s The Best Way to Clean My Baby’s Mouth?
Even before your baby’s teeth grow, it’s best to clean their mouth with a gauze pad or soft cloth. Do the following:
- Number One: Depending on your baby’s age, you should use one of the following methods to clean their teeth and gums: Hold your baby on your lap and support their head with your hand so you can inspect their mouth. Alternately, you can sit your baby on their highchair, stand behind them, and brush their teeth. Sit on your couch with your baby’s head on your lap.
- Number Two: Once your baby is situated, place a clean gauze pad or soft cloth over your finger. Dampen it with water, but make sure it’s not soaking wet. Wipe your baby’s teeth and gums gently.
- Number Three: When your baby’s teeth begin to grow, you can switch to a small, soft toothbrush. Brush all surfaces of their teeth, and don’t forget their gums. Use a mild toothpaste with a small amount of fluoride.
Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah
If you neglect your baby’s oral health, they may need to get their teeth surgically removed to prevent gum problems. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are here to help with all your oral health needs, and we can answer your questions. Schedule your free consultation today.