One of the golden moments of being a parent is holding your child while they drink from their bottle. It’s a rare quiet instant, and you can practically hear the bond forming between you. Unfortunately, you still have to be vigilant during this tender time. Did you know that drinking from their bottle or nursing could potentially harm their teeth? Your children’s dentist in Leesburg, Dr. David Groy wants you to know about one of the most common causes of children’s cavities.
Baby Tooth Decay
Nursing bottle syndrome, baby bottle tooth decay, and nursing caries all refer to the damage that can occur to your child’s teeth from consuming sugary drinks over a long period of time. Formula, breast milk, cow’s milk, and juices all contain sugar, and this is what can lead to tooth decay. It happens because the naturally occurring bacteria in your child’s mouth consumes this sugar and turns it into acidic plaque, which can break down their teeth. Extended exposure to sugar facilitates this process and can lead your child to have more frequent cavities.
This type of tooth decay has a specific name because it is very common. Many children sleep with their bottles, or a bottle is used as a pacifier when the child is upset. This continually exposes them to sugar and can be detrimental to their teeth.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to help protect your child.
What You Can Do
- Be Aware of What Your Child Is Drinking: Certain milks and juices contain a higher amount of sugar than formula or water, so try to limit your child’s consumption of these drinks to keep their sugar intake moderated.
- Don’t Let Them Sleep with A Bottle: This type of tooth decay often happens because the child sleeps for hours with a bottle or nipple in their mouth, continually soaking their teeth in sugar. Don’t let your child sleep with their bottle, and try to gently take it away if they fall asleep with it.
- Use a Pacifier or a Bottle with Water: Avoid giving your child a bottle with milk or juice when they are upset. Try to use a pacifier, and if that doesn’t work, a bottle with water. This will save them from consuming extra sugar.
- Clean Your Child’s Teeth: After every feeding, be sure to brush your child’s teeth and clean their gums. This will clean the excess sugar off of their teeth and keep the enamel from breaking down.
- Get Regular Check-Ups: Your child should have their first check-up 6 months after their first tooth has erupted, or before their first birthday, and every 6 months after that. These check-ups will allow Dr. Groy to detect any subtle signs that your child’s teeth may be damaged, and you both can discuss habits that will help your child’s teeth in the future.
Want To Know More?
While this kind of tooth decay may be very common, the solutions are quite simple. All you need to do is monitor your child’s habits and regularly see your family dentist in Leesburg. With that, your child can just be themselves, and you’ll know that their smile is healthy.
If you’d like to know more about how to keep your child’s teeth strong as they grow, please call us today.