How Baby Bottles Can Hurt Infants' Teeth
Parents often use baby bottles containing milk, formula, or juice to help sooth their infants, leaving them with the bottle many times during the day and oftentimes at night to help them sleep. Frequent and prolonged bottle use may seem harmless, but it is actually a leading cause of early childhood tooth decay.
At the Azarko Dental Group, our Edmonton dentists strive to provide all parents of infants with the information they need to keep this preventable condition at bay.
Why Baby Bottles Can Cause Tooth Decay
Just about any drink other than water that you could give to your infant in their bottle is going to contain sugar. As your infant slowly drinks from the bottle, especially if they are doing so while dozing off to sleep, the liquids linger in their mouth, coating their tongue, cheeks, gums, and baby teeth.
The sugar in fruit juices, milk, or formula all provide a potent food source for oral bacteria. As the bacteria feed on the sugar in order to grow and proliferate, they produce acid as a by-product. These acids are harmful for teeth as they will inevitably begin wearing away at your infant's dental enamel, creating cavities and potentially causing the development of tooth decay.
Signs, Symptoms, and Preventative Care
Early childhood tooth decay can be difficult to spot. In the beginning it may simply appear as small, difficult-to-see white spots at the gumline of their upper front teeth. If you notice these signs or have any other reason to suspect tooth decay in your infant, then you need to visit an Edmonton dental clinic.
Thankfully, baby bottle tooth decay is fairly easy to prevent. One of the best strategies is to never send your infant to bed with their bottle, or to only fill it with water if you do. Never fill their bottle with any kind of soda, and try to stay away from most fruit juices as well. Try to limit your child's time with the bottle during the day, and to wean them off the bottle completely by the time they are around 14 months old.
Worried About Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
The earlier that an Edmonton dentist detects and diagnosis tooth decay in your infant, the earlier treatment can begin. Quick and effective treatment can help stop tooth decay in its tracks and prevent any further damage to the teeth and gums. Infant oral health can have an effect on your child's oral health for the rest of their lives, and is not something to take lightly.
Children’s Dentist in Edmonton
At the Edmonton dental clinics of the Azarko Dental Group we provide children's dental care with an emphasis on preventing, diagnosing, and treating early childhood tooth decay. If you're worried that your infant might have baby bottle tooth decay, or if it's time to begin taking them for regular checkups with an Edmonton dentist, just visit one of our two locations today:
14938 Stony Plain Rd.
Edmonton, AB T5P 3X8
969 James MowattTrail SW
Edmonton, AB T6W 1S4