Baby bottle tooth decay is a problem that impact up to 15% of child’s teeth. Most notably, you can see this impact on the child’s top front teeth. It’s extremely important as parents that your child’s oral health is at the forefront of your mind as proper dental hygiene can have a positive impact on your child’s teeth and overall health.
Do baby bottles cause tooth decay?
So, do baby bottles cause tooth decay or is this some sort of old wives tale that isn’t true? According to nearly every pediatric dentist, baby bottles do cause tooth decay. Bottle tooth decay impacts at least one out of every 10 children. While this is a concern, the good news is that it can be prevented and those cute little baby teeth can turn into strong healthy adult teeth with proper dental and eating habits.
Baby bottles are often baby’s first exposure to sugar, which can lead to baby bottle tooth decay. The bacteria that live in the plaque on baby’s teeth use sugar to produce acids. The acids attack baby’s teeth for 20 minutes or more after baby has had something sugary to drink. This acid attack makes baby’s tooth enamel soften and break down, which leads to cavities.
Baby bottle tooth decay is most likely to occur on baby’s upper front teeth, but it can also affect baby’s other teeth. If baby bottle tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection, and problems with chewing and speaking. This form of tooth decay can also lead to serious health problems, such as a painful abscesses.
How do you prevent tooth decay in babies with bottles?
Pediatric dentists know how bad it is when a child develops tooth decay. This painful experience should be avoided at all costs. There are a few things you can do to prevent tooth decay in babies who use bottles.
Below are five ways to help prevent tooth decay in babies who use bottle.
1) Avoid giving them sugary drinks in their bottles.
2) Don’t put them to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.
3) Brush their teeth after they finish drinking from a bottle. This baby toothbrush can help.
4) Give your baby water to drink in between feedings.
5) See a dentist regularly to make sure their teeth are healthy.
By following these steps, you can help prevent tooth decay in your baby’s teeth. When you meet with your babies pediatric dentist, check to see what type of toothpaste they recommend using. Fluoride toothpaste is important for teeth but you must ask your dentist if this is safe for your baby first.
List of Items to Help Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
To help all parents out there, here is a list of items that you can buy today to help prevent baby bottle tooth decay.
Baby bottle tooth decay symptoms
If you think your child may have baby bottle tooth decay, watch for these signs and symptoms:
1. Teeth that are discolored or have white spots
2. Teeth that are chipped or broken
3. Teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures
4. Gums that bleed when brushed or touched
5. Bad breath or a foul taste in the mouth
6. Pain when chewing or biting
7. Swelling in the gums
If you notice any of these signs, take your child to see a dentist as soon as possible. Baby bottle tooth decay is a serious condition and needs to be treated right away to avoid further damage to the teeth and gums.
Baby bottle tooth decay stages
There are four stages of baby bottle tooth decay. It’s imperative to keep an eye out for all four of these stages in order to minimize the chance of your child developing tooth decay.
1. White spots: This is the earliest stage of decay and is characterized by white spots on the teeth. At this stage, the decay is still reversible.
2. Enamel loss: This is the next stage of decay and is characterized by loss of enamel on the teeth. At this stage, the decay is not reversible.
3. Dentin loss: This is the third stage of decay and is characterized by loss of dentin on the teeth. At this stage, the decay is not reversible.
4. Pulpitis: This is the fourth and final stage of decay and is characterized by inflammation of the pulp (the soft tissue inside the tooth). At this stage, the decay is not reversible and can lead to tooth loss.
Baby bottle tooth decay causes
There are several causes of tooth decay in bottle-fed babies. The first is the type of milk that is used. Formula and cow’s milk both contain sugars that can contribute to tooth decay. Breast milk does not contain these sugars, so it is less likely to cause tooth decay.
Another cause of tooth decay in bottle-fed babies is the way that the bottle is used. If a baby is constantly sucking on a bottle, this can lead to more plaque buildup on the teeth. This plaque can then turn into tartar, which is a major cause of tooth decay.
Finally, if a baby’s teeth are not brushed regularly, this can also lead to tooth decay. Plaque and tartar can build up on the teeth and cause cavities. Regular brushing will help to remove this buildup and prevent tooth decay.
Can babies get bottle rot from breastfeeding?
While it is possible for babies to get bottle rot on their baby teeth from breastfeeding, it is highly unlikely. Bottle rot is a type of infection that can occur when baby bottles are not properly sterilized.
When babies drink from a contaminated bottle, they can develop an infection that can lead to serious health problems. However, breast milk is naturally sterile, so the risk of infection is very low. In addition, mothers typically take great care to ensure that their breasts and nipples are clean before breastfeeding. As a result, the chances of a baby developing bottle rot from breastfeeding are extremely slim.
Can healthy eating habits help prevent bottle tooth decay?
Good nutrition is important for many aspects of overall health, and this includes oral health. There is evidence to suggest that poor dietary habits can contribute to the development of bottle tooth decay. For example, sugary drinks and snacks increase the risk of cavities, while a diet lacking in essential nutrients can lead to gum disease.
However, it is important to remember that bottle tooth decay is preventable with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits. This means that even if you do not have perfect dietary habits, you can still reduce your risk of bottle tooth decay by brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist on a regular basis.
Is baby bottle tooth decay reversible?
As we have already mentioned, baby bottle tooth decay (BBTD) occurs when sweetened liquids or those with natural sugars pool around the teeth for prolonged periods of time. This environment allows bacteria to flourish and produce harmful acids that attack and break down tooth enamel. The result is cavities, which can lead to pain, infection, and eventually tooth loss.
Although BBTD is most common among infants and toddlers, it can occur at any age. The good news is that, with early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to reverse the damage caused by baby bottle tooth decay. Prompt intervention by a dentist can help to save the child’s teeth and prevent further damage. In severe cases, however, tooth extractions may be necessary
Final thoughts on BBTD
Baby bottle tooth decay is a serious problem that can lead to extensive damage to primary teeth. It’s important to take measures to prevent it, such as avoiding putting your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. In addition, it is important to clean your baby’s teeth regularly and visit the dentist for regular checkups. If you suspect that your child has baby bottle tooth decay, it is important to seek treatment immediately. Left untreated, the decay can spread and lead to serious oral health problems.
For the optimal advice on BBTD, always consult your pediatric dentist.