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Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

CHICAGO, Illinois – Infants and children who sleep with a bottle containing anything but water are in danger of developing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Pacifiers dipped in sugar or honey are equally dangerous. While a child sleeps the salivary process slows, which allows liquids remaining in the mouth to pool around the sleeping child's teeth. Sugars in the liquid combine with bacteria in the mouth to form acid that dissolves the immature enamel. Newly erupted first teeth are highly susceptible to decay. Unfortunately, it does not take long for extensive tooth decay to develop. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay is easy to prevent. The following steps will help your child avoid this painful condition:
  • You are not the only person who cares for your child. Warn grandparents and other care givers about the hazards of lulling young children and infants to sleep with bottles and sweetened pacifiers.

  • Remember to massage and cleanse your infant's gums with a soft cloth or piece of gauze after each feeding. Your pediatric dentist can demonstrate the best position and technique.

  • Visit your pediatric dentist between the arrival of the first tooth and the first birthday. The first visit will focus on prevention, teaching, and any questions you have. This is similar to a well baby visit with your pediatrician.

  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup when she is between 9 and 12 months old.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

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