While it is tempting to comfort your baby by putting them to sleep with a bottle, this action can cause permanent damage to their teeth.
Baby bottle tooth syndrome refers to cavities caused by using a baby bottle as a sleep aid. When a child sleeps with a bottle of milk or juice, the liquid drips and behind the child’s front teeth. The bacteria that cause decay feeds off the sugars and have several hours to erode the enamel.
Cavities localized to the top front teeth are indicative of baby bottle tooth syndrome. The bottom front teeth have more protection from the tongue and saliva, but may also be affected.
Preventing the Condition
Early childhood cavities are preventable, and the following tips can help ensure your child's teeth grow in and remain healthy.
- Never lay your child down with a bottle of anything other than water and remove it as soon as they fall asleep.
- Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they erupt. Flossing should begin as soon as there are two teeth next to each other.
- Teach your child to drink from a training cup rather than a bottle at around six months old. Children should be completely weaned from the bottle by the age of one.
- Find a dentist who sees young children as soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts to establish a positive dental relationship. This way, the dentist can assess any potential oral health issues that may be is your child’s future.
An Ounce of Prevention
Your child's baby teeth will help him chew and speak, and leads the way for their permanent smile to grow in straight and healthy. Taking a proactive approach to your baby’s developing teeth from the start can keep your child from experiencing unnecessary discomfort and treatment.
To Learn More, Call San Jose Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Ralph Zotovich
Our pediatric dental office provides care exclusively for children, including treatments for baby bottle tooth decay. Dr. Zotovich has a wonderful chairside manner and easily gains his young patients’ trust. He is committed to building positive relationships with families to deliver excellent oral health for children.