Babies and Tooth Decay

Babies and Tooth Decay

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Baby teeth may be temporary but they are important. If you lose them too early, the remaining teeth may move and may not leave any room for the adult teeth to come in. And if left untreated, tooth decay in babies may cause severe pain and life-threatening infections.

What causes tooth decay in babies?

Tooth decay in infants and very young children happens when the baby’s mouth is infected by acid-producing bacteria. The bacteria can be passed on from the caregiver to the baby through saliva. It could be through cleaning off the pacifier in the caregiver’s mouth or sharing spoons and cups.

The biggest culprit of tooth decay in babies is the sugar that clings to the infant’s teeth for a long time. This can happen when infants are handed with pacifiers dipped in syrup or sugar and giving a sugary drink at naptime or bedtime.

Why tooth decay in very young children is an issue?

Baby teeth play a significant role in speaking, chewing, and smiling. They also serve as placeholders for adult teeth. If they are severely damaged early on, they may need to be removed. 

When babies lose their teeth too early, he or she may end up having crooked teeth, poor eating habits, and speech problems. 

How to prevent baby tooth decay?

As a caregiver, there are things you can do to prevent this from happening:

  • Don’t fill bottles with sugary drinks like fruit juice (even if it’s mixed with water) and soft drinks.
  • Never allow your child to sleep with a bottle containing anything but water.
  • Never dip your child’s pacifier in anything sweet.
  • Reduce your child’s sugar intake especially before nap or bedtime.
  • Wipe your baby’s gums teeth with clean gauze or washcloth after each feeding.
  • When the first tooth comes in, begin brushing your child’s teeth with a toothbrush without toothpaste.
  • Begin flossing when all the teeth have come in.
  • Schedule regular dental visits. 

Cakmes Dental Studio takes pride in providing high-quality dental care for families. To request an appointment, you can call us at (865) 584-6163.

 

References:

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/what-is-baby-bottle-tooth-decay

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/How-to-Prevent-Tooth-Decay-in-Your-Baby.aspx

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