It’s adorable when you find your baby fast asleep with a feeding bottle drooping out of their mouth making them look adorable. What we don’t realize is that their continuous contact with milk or any liquid for hours together results in premature tooth decay, known as baby bottle tooth decay. The decayed part of the child’s teeth is like a cavity that may be painful based on the severity. Dentists refrain from treatment at such a young age as it could damage future growth and also turn out to be unbearable for the little one.
What’s the cause?
As mentioned above, the primary cause of baby bottle tooth decay is constant exposure to milk or any other liquid that contains sugar. In terms of sugar, it could be both added such as juice or natural such as breast milk but it does not mean sugar is the culprit component. It can also be the bacterial content in the liquid that sticks to the surface of the child’s tooth for a long time causing it to decay.
What are the leading signs?
A baby or a child much like a pet cannot communicate their emotions or sensations efficiently to us. If they cry, we immediately turn them around for a diaper check but we would never guess it could be a symptom of baby bottle tooth decay. A few evident symptoms that we can check to be safe are white or yellow or brown spots on the teeth, lumps of tartar covering the teeth or a random tooth or gum pain they could be experiencing. At the onset, it may not seem like a huge concern considering it’s just their baby teeth but without treatment, they may encounter unusual face and teeth growth complications in the long run.
Read more on ‘my child’s teeth are discoloured? Why?’.
Let’s put an end to this – prevention
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure and if you want to save your baby from an early visit to the dentist, you have to add another itinerary to your baby journey. Just a few simple steps will help keep your child’s teeth as smooth and white as marbles. Keep your child away from nibbling onto the feeding bottle or the nipple for too long. Wipe off the mucky tartar from their teeth with a sanitary washcloth and substitute milk with water in the feeding bottle if they prefer falling asleep with a nipple in their mouth.
For any human being, it is necessary to consume a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals to eradicate any form of infection. Similarly, it is essential for your child to have a fair amount of nutrients for them to be able to fight bacteria. With respect to teeth, your child must have a sufficient amount of iron, Vitamin C, B and D, calcium, zinc and fluoride among several nutrients which will protect the child from baby bottle tooth decay. Breast milk is the most natural way of consuming vitamins and minerals. It is unfair to let your child fight their own battle; it’s in your hands to provide the best weapons.
Baby responsibilities can be tough. A simple way to check your toddler’s teeth is to make them laugh or smile often.