What is ‘baby bottle tooth decay’? How can it be avoided?
Baby bottle tooth decay (also called early childhood caries and nursing caries) occurs when a baby’s teeth are in frequent contact with sugars (fruit juices, milk, formula, flavored water, soda, or any other sweet drink). The bacteria in a baby’s mouth break down the sugar in these liquids, producing acid that causes tooth decay.
If left untreated, decayed teeth can cause pain and make it difficult to chew and eat. If baby teeth are decayed, become infected, or are lost early, they can cause harm to developing teeth and can’t help guide the permanent teeth into their proper position. Badly decayed baby teeth can become severely infected with the possibility of that infection spreading elsewhere.
Children should not be permitted to take a bottle to bed. Ideally, children should be weaned from the bottle by 12 months of age. Additionally, a ‘sippy cup’ should only be used to transition your child from the bottle to the cup. Scheduling your child’s first dental visit at Sporting Smiles by their first birthday is a great opportunity to learn how to keep your child happy, healthy, and cavity free.