For the parents of many toddlers, whose baby teeth have just come in, they might be faced with a shocking sight: tooth decay. You might find yourself wondering how it’s possible that kids at such a young age have already developed oral hygiene problems when all they’ve really had so far is a baby bottle. Well, the answer is right there in your question.
A lot of parents are unaware of the potential hazard of the extremely common baby bottle: tooth decay. Sugars are everywhere, even in milk, and a side effect of the design of almost every sippy cup and bottle is that their surfaces are very easy for children’s teeth to be in constant contact with these sugars. Most children will even sleep with a bottle or sippy cup, meaning that all night long their teeth are being put at risk.
Preventing Tooth Decay
The first thing you can do to try and prevent this from happening to your child is to limit the amount of time that they spend with their bottle or sippy cup. Keeping them from sleeping with the bottle will keep them from being exposed to the sugars for long amounts of time.
Additionally, many experts now suggest that as soon as the first tooth comes in, parents should be using a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste to clean their baby’s teeth. This should be done especially after feedings and before bedtime. Even in infants whose first teeth haven’t erupted yet, you can use a damp cloth to wipe down gums after every feeding, eliminating the chance for juice or milk to get trapped.
Visiting the Dentist
The most important thing to do is make regular appointments with a pediatric dentist who can monitor your baby’s teeth and make better suggestions tailored to your baby and their specific habits. Try to get into the dentist every 6 months to get peace of mind that your child’s teeth are developing properly and that you’ve done all you can to keep them sparkling white long after they start growing up and loosing the sippy cup.