Keeping your babies happy and healthy is essential as they grow. Commonly, dental hygiene is left to the wayside when it comes to babies, and unfortunately dental health begins as soon as those baby teeth make their entrance. Your child’s first teeth make sure adult teeth come in correctly, so starting him or her off with good oral health from the get-go is so important to protecting his or her teeth into the future. 

Let us help you recognize the signs of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay and take precautions prior to your baby dealing with this dental crisis. 

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay in either infants or toddlers is frequently referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay but can also be referred to as Early Childhood Caries. 

One of the most common causes of decay in small children is prolonged exposure to drinks that contain sugar. Furthermore, tooth decay has a much higher risk of happening in babies that are put to bed with a bottle or when a bottle is frequently used as a pacifier to soothe the baby. 

How can you prevent it?

Preventing tooth decay is easy if you follow these simple guidelines and consistently take care of your infant or toddler’s teeth.

  • Avoid sharing saliva with baby. Do not put the baby’s spoon or pacifier in your mouth. 
  • After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
  • Once teeth have come in, brush them gently with a toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3.
  • Brush teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste between the ages of 3 and 6. 
  • Supervise brushing until your child can be trusted to spit and not swallow the toothpaste.
  • Only formula, milk, or breast milk should be given to small children via a bottle. Water, juice, or other liquids should not be given in bottles.
  • Infants should not take a bottle to bed. Feed your baby his or her bedtime bottle and then put him or her to sleep. 
  • Pacifiers given to small children should be kept clean and not dipped in anything sugary. 

Once your child is at the appropriate age, usually around one year, encourage him or her to drink from a cup. You should also encourage small children to adhere to healthy eating habits. The less sugar that is consumed, the better and stronger his or her teeth will become. 

Start Your Dental Visits Early 

Visiting us at The Complete Dentistry of Orland Park sooner rather than later will kick off your child’s dental health on the right foot. Consider contacting your dentist as soon as the first tooth comes in and find out the recommendations for setting up that first appointment

You should treat the first dental visit as you would treat any regular well-baby checkup with your children. Starting early is the key to a lifetime of good health—both physically and orally!