Nursing Bottle Caries is the result of frequent, prolonged contact with liquids that contain sugars such as fruit juices, milk, formula or any other sweetened drinks. Human breast milk is also a contributor to baby bottle tooth decay. As the sugars break down in the mouth, bacteria start feeding on the sugars, produce acids and cause tooth decay.
If left untreated, decayed teeth can cause pain and discomfort. Not only can decayed teeth affect your child’s comfort, primary teeth also help guide permanent teeth into place. If the teeth are damaged or absent, they are unable to help guide permanent teeth into their proper position, possibly affecting future crowding or crooked teeth of adult teeth. Badly decayed baby teeth could lead to an abscessed tooth, with the infection spreading to between the teeth and the gum or affecting the root of the tooth.
Listed below are some tips to preventing baby bottle tooth decay:
- To calm your baby, don’t give a bottle filled with sugary liquids; instead, give plain water or use a pacifier.
- Don’t coat your baby’s pacifier in a sweetener of any kind such as sugar, or honey as a way to comfort them.
- Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with sugary liquids. Plain water is best.
- Use a wet cloth or gauze to wipe your child’s teeth and gums after each feeding. This helps remove any excess sugar preventing the chance for bacteria to form.