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Many parents or caregivers don’t think twice before giving their babies bottles at naptime or bedtime. The fact of the matter, however, is that this can affect children’s teeth – even when those teeth haven’t come in yet or even though they are not yet permanent adult teeth.

All children are born with their teeth hidden underneath their gums. The health and pattern of growth of their baby teeth have an effect on their bite pattern and tooth health when they are older. When you send your child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice or allow them to walk around often with such a bottle, you expose their teeth to sugar for a prolonged period of time, increasing their chance of cavities and decreasing their gum health. This is called baby bottle tooth decay.

Baby bottle tooth decay usually affects the upper top teeth the most, but other teeth can be influenced as well. Cavity-causing bacteria can also be passed from mother to child; this cross-contamination can occur if a mother “cleans” a pacifier with her mouth or puts a feeding spoon in her own mouth to test its taste, thereby passing the bacteria onto her child.

Here are some important tips to help prevent baby bottle tooth decay:

-Brush your baby’s teeth as soon as they start coming in with a baby toothbrush and water
-Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean moist wash cloth after each meal
-Avoid giving your young child juice or soda
-Try not to share saliva with the baby
-Make sure that babies finish their bottle before bed or naptime and then take it out of their mouth
-Provide babies a clean pacifier with no honey or other product on it
-Encourage your child to start drinking from a cup by their first birthday

To consult with your doctor at Sunny Smiles Dentistry, about baby bottle tooth decay in Ventura, California, call Dr. Sunil Ilapogu. We invite you to call our office at 805-644-5516 today!