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Baby bottle tooth decay is a type of cavity that occurs in infants and young children. It is caused by the prolonged exposure of their teeth to sugary liquids such as milk, formula, juice, and other sweet drinks. The sugar in these liquids reacts with bacteria in the mouth to produce an acid that attacks the enamel of the baby’s teeth. Over time, this can cause holes or cavities to form in the teeth.
What are the risk factors
Several factors increase a baby’s risk of developing baby bottle tooth decay, including:
⇛ Prolonged exposure to sugary liquids: The longer a baby’s teeth are exposed to sugary liquids, the greater the risk of decay.
⇛ Feeding habits: Putting a baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice can be particularly harmful as it increases the risk of exposure to sugary liquids.
⇛ Genetics: Some babies may be more susceptible to decay due to their inherited genetics.
Baby bottle tooth decay is seen commonly in the upper and lower front teeth and other symptoms include.
⇛ White spots on the surface of the teeth
⇛ Tooth cavities, or holes in the teeth
⇛ Swollen or bleeding gums
⇛ A fever caused by gum or tooth infection
How can we prevent it?
Fortunately, baby bottle tooth decay is preventable. Here are some steps parents can take to protect their baby’s smile:
⇛ Limit sugary drinks: Offer water or milk instead of juice or sugary drinks.
⇛ Clean gums and teeth: Clean baby’s gums and teeth after feedings to remove any residual sugar.
⇛ Schedule dental check-ups: Schedule regular dental check-ups to monitor the health of the baby’s teeth and catch any issues early.
Early Detection and Treatment
The earlier baby bottle tooth decay is detected, the easier it is to treat. Regular dental check-ups can help detect any problems early on, allowing for prompt treatment to prevent further damage.
Baby bottle tooth decay is a common problem that affects the teeth of young children. However, by understanding the risk factors and taking steps to prevent them, parents can protect their baby’s smile and ensure good oral health.
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