Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Pediatric Dentist Portland
It is no wonder many parents are concerned about their child's dental health. From little fists to first foods, everything going into your baby's mouth brings up questions that your dentist will be happy to help you answer. Those first teeth are delicate and need extra protection against the acid the bacteria in our mouths produce. Ensuring the permanent teeth come in strong is our goal here at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland. By knowing what to watch for and when to see your dentist, taking care of your child's teeth has never been so simple!
Preventing Baby Bottle Decay
The first thing that comes to mind with a dropped pacifier is to pop it in your mouth to clean it off. Spoonfuls of baby food are tested for heat and flavor. How often we share our cups even when we don't intend to and don't think twice about it. Unfortunately, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay are transferable through our saliva, and we are passing it to them with every well-intentioned lick. Caring for our mouths may well be the first step in protecting theirs.
When we lay our child down with a bottle of juice or milk, it's easy to leave them with it when they finally nod off. Unfortunately, that's one of the worst things we can do for their teeth. Once they fall asleep the drink pools in the mouth while they nap. This gives the bacteria plenty of time to go to work breaking down the sugar in the liquid. Just because they are temporary teeth doesn't mean they are not important. These first teeth are needed for eating and speaking, serving as guides for the permanent ones. Left untreated, tooth decay can cause an infection and be very painful.
First Signs of Tooth Decay
The first signs of tooth decay are white and yellow spots on the teeth around the gumline. At this stage tooth decay is reversible. Caring for your child's teeth is as easy as using a soft cloth or infant toothbrush to gently clean your baby's gums and first teeth after each bottle. Rinsing the mouth with water if your child is old enough for a cup can also greatly aid in reducing how much bacteria are in the mouth.
Introducing flossing after the baby teeth have come in is beneficial in preservation. When the first teeth begin to come in is when it is time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Demonstrate how good oral care habits aid in the defense against decay such as brushing after mealtimes, before bed, and after sweet treats. Including the whole family in the routine helps ensure good dental care is a habit they all can all benefit from!
At Great Grins for KIDS - Portland, we understand how important it is for growth and development that your child's teeth start healthy. Teaching proper brushing, flossing, and cleaning techniques to your growing child to ensure maximum dental health is our priority. If you have any concerns or want to learn more about the treatment or prevention of decay, don't hesitate to give us a call at (971) 470-0054.