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What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay and How Can You Avoid It?


If you just heard about it and want to know more, keep reading to find out what is baby bottle tooth decay and how to prevent it from developing in your infant’s teeth.

What causes baby bottle tooth decay?

The bottle itself doesn’t cause decay on a single use, it is its usage for a prolonged period that, in combination with sugary beverages, creates an imbalance in your baby’s mouth, which affects the enamel and therefore causes the formation of decay. Even though breast milk has an adequate Ph and does not cause alterations in the babies’ oral cavity’s Ph, and milk formula has minimum levels of sugar, babies can still develop decay. To reduce the risk of decay formation on babies, it is important to avoid sugary liquids in their bottles, such as soda and chocolate milk. Stagnation of milk or other liquids in combination with a poor oral hygiene increases the risk of decay formation.

If the infant goes to bed with a bottle, the chances to develop oral problems are considerably higher. During the time that the child is asleep, bacteria grows in their mouth as sugar changes the acidity of the mouth, making teeth more vulnerable to demineralization. Hygiene is the biggest preventive action against cavities, decay, and infections. 

What are the symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay?

  • White spots in teeth, especially front teeth.
  • Tooth sensitivity and/or pain.
  • Dark spots on teeth in more advanced or serious cases
  • Gum inflammation and/or bleeding.
  • Bad breath.
  • Fever due to infection.

How can I prevent this condition?what-is-baby-bottle-tooth-decay

Taking care of your child’s oral hygiene begins even before teeth come out. After feeding them, you can wet a gauze with lukewarm water and wipe their gums gently. This prevents any bacteria build-up, which will help the infant to get used to this step after eating for the future habit of brushing. The earlier you start, the better. 

If  your child already has teeth, then don’t hesitate to start brushing. You can just brush without toothpaste or use a fluoride-free training toothpaste. If you are hesitant, ask your  kid’s dentists in Tijuana. Create a fun and relaxed environment around oral hygiene routines. You can brush with them, sing a song about it, bring their favorite toy, etc.

Try not to use the baby’s bottle as a pacifier or as an incentive for them to go to bed. Although this might be attractive, especially because of how busy and stressed parents are nowadays, your baby’s dental development and oral health could be at risk.

Cavities and decay, when not treated promptly, could become an infection and affect not only temporary teeth but the underlying permanent teeth, causing malformation, discoloration, or preventing them from growing out properly. 

Chances are, your child will have better overall health in the long run if they have habits that serve the purposes of proper hygiene, good nutrition (less sugar!), and regular check-ups with a pediatric dentist in Tijuana.

Is there a treatment for this dental issue?

Not everything is lost, every dental condition or disease has a solution. If you found some of the above-mentioned symptoms in your child’s teeth, then it’s time to seek professional help before signs worsen. 

It is possible to treat decay. Your dentist will need to clinically and radiographically evaluate the stage of affected and decayed tissue to decide what is the best treatment option.

Call us now and book your appointment for our dental clinic in Tijuana, Dental Alvarez has over three decades of experience offering the best treatment in Tijuana.

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