If your child breast or bottle-feeds right before bed, or needs a bottle to fall asleep, he or she may be at risk for baby bottle tooth decay, sometimes called infant caries. Seaside Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics Inc is dedicated to preventing and fighting baby bottle tooth decay in La Jolla, California. If you notice any signs of tooth decay in your child’s mouth, please contact us at 858-551-9700 and schedule an appointment with our caring pediatric dentist, Dr. Anthony Scoma.
Taking good care of your child’s baby teeth is important. If tooth decay is not prevented, it can cause great pain and lead to life-threatening infections in your child’s mouth. Tooth decay is the most common infectious disease of childhood. It is also known as early childhood caries, nursing caries, or baby bottle tooth decay.
Baby bottle tooth decay develops when your infant’s mouth is infected by acid-producing bacteria. These bacteria can develop when your child’s teeth and gums are exposed to any liquid or food other than water for long periods, or frequently during the day. This occurs most often due to parents putting their children to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, juice, soda, sugar water, or other sugar drinks. Bacteria can also be spread by the sharing of saliva, such as when a parent shares a spoon with a child or cleans off their child’s pacifier with their own mouth.
The best way to minimize and prevent baby bottle tooth decay is by not allowing your child to breast or bottle-feed immediately prior to sleeping. If your infant needs a bottle to comfortable fall asleep, make sure that the bottle is filled only with water. We also advise that you avoid sharing a spoon or cleaning your child’s pacifier with your own mouth.
To learn more about preventing tooth decay in children and to make your family’s appointment with our experienced pediatric dentist, please contact our office today.