Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle only. Teeth should be brushed twice daily, every morning and every night before bed. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. Examine your child’s teeth at home every two weeks for dull or chalky looking spots. Let us know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth.
How does baby bottle tooth decay start?
A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This includes breast milk, regular milk, formula, fruit juice, unsweetened fruit juice, soda, or even watered down juices. Sugars in the liquid mix with bacteria in the mouth, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. When awake, saliva carries away the acids. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids and dissolving the tooth enamel, causing cavities.
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