Taking care of your child’s baby teeth is more important than you may realize. Many people assume tooth decay isn’t a concern because baby teeth are not permanent. Unfortunately, tooth decay can spread and cause damage to underlying permanent teeth. Baby bottle tooth decay is a common name for extensive tooth decay in infants and toddlers.
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when infants and toddlers are bottle fed in bed, or just before going to bed. The sugars contained in milk or other beverages coat their teeth and remain there overnight as they sleep. Some infants and toddlers can still develop tooth decay even if they do not take a bottle at bedtime. This is why it is important for toddlers to have routine dental exams.
Tooth decay presents as white or brown spots on a child’s teeth, which can also be accompanied by pain and swelling. If you notice these symptoms, schedule and appointment with Fioritto Dental as soon as possible. Healthy baby teeth ensure that your children learn to eat and speak properly.
How to prevent tooth decay in children
Childhood is the perfect time to set your kids up for a lifetime of good oral health. By establishing a dental health routine and visiting Fioritto Dental, you can prevent tooth decay and ensure both baby and permanent teeth remain healthy and strong.
Many parents don’t realize that infants have dental health needs, even before their teeth come in. After every feeding, use a damp gauze pad or washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums. As soon as their teeth erupt, brush them gently with a child-sized toothbrush and a dentist-approved toothpaste. As soon as two teeth touch, floss daily.
What your children consume is also important for their dental health. When your kids are infants, only formula or breast milk should be given. If you put your toddler to bed with a bottle, it should only contain water. Avoid using bottles as pacifiers, and try to wean them from bottles by their first birthday. This allows their baby teeth to come in straight and healthy—and stay that way.
Your children should visit Fioritto Dental around their third birthday. Your Fioritto dentist will monitor their tooth development and may recommend preventative treatment to protect their teeth, such as fluoride. By making dental appointments a routine part of life, your children will get a head start on good oral hygiene and avoid dental anxiety. Remember, children observe their parents and take cues from them. Don’t forget to schedule your own dental appointment to set a good example!
To schedule your family’s next dental checkup, call Fioritto Family Dental today.