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Baby bottle tooth decay and how to prevent early dental problems

Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by the frequent and long-term exposure of a child's teeth to liquids containing sugars. Among these liquids are milk, formula, fruit juice, sodas and other sweetened drinks. When a child consumes a sugary liquid, acid attacks the teeth and gums. After numerous attacks, tooth decay can begin. This includes breast-fed infants who have prolonged feeding habits. The sweet fluids left in the mouth increases the chance of cavities while the infant is sleeping.

How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?

Don't allow children to fall asleep with a bottle containing juice, milk, formula, or other sweetened liquids. Be sure to clean and massage the baby's gums once a day to help establish healthy teeth and to aid in teething. Wrap gauze or a washcloth around your finger and gently massage the gums and gingival tissues. Plaque removal should begin when the first baby tooth erupts. When brushing a child's teeth, use a soft toothbrush and a pea-shaped amount of toothpaste. Before a child can spit, be sure to use non-fluoride toothpaste. Once a child is able to spit, you should use fluoride toothpaste.

Have questions about your child's dental health? Please contact me!

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