While the health of baby teeth might not seem as important as adult teeth – after all, they’ll just fall out in a few years! – baby bottle tooth decay can lead to serious oral and developmental problems including painful infections, difficulties with speaking, and crooked adult teeth.
Here’s some ways to avoid this painful situation, and keep baby’s smile bright and healthy:
Avoid sugary drinks and sweetened pacifiers
Baby bottles should only be used for milk, formula, and in the case of some types of sickness, electrolyte drinks. Avoid sugary sodas and juices, as these sugars feed germs that cause decay and infection. If giving an infant a pacifier, never dip it in syrup or other sweet substances. While it will keep the baby quiet in the short-term, it can result in unnecessary pain and tooth decay.
Practice good oral hygiene
Before the first teeth appear, it’s good to keep the baby’s gums clean using a sterile cloth. When the first teeth appear, brush them gently without the use of toothpaste, and the gums should still be cleaned with a cloth. When all the baby teeth have come in, floss them regularly as you would with adult teeth.
Schedule regular dental appointments
It’s important to get your child into regular dental appointments at least by their first birthday. Your dentist will be able to assist in preventing problems and can repair any damage and decay before it requires other measures, such as pulling a tooth.
If you have any questions about dental care or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us.