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Posts tagged ‘baby bottle decay’

Baby Bottle Decay

Progression of baby bottle decay

Children need their teeth to be strong and healthy so they can chew, speak, and have a wonderful smile.  Another function baby teeth have is to hold the space for the permanent teeth.  As the adult tooth erupts, the baby tooth will fall out.  If the baby tooth falls out early, the adjacent teeth could drift into the vacant space.  The huge issue with that is the permanent tooth could become blocked by other teeth that drifted into the baby tooth’s old place!  Orthodontics can correct the problem but doesn’t it make sense to just prevent it?

Every child is at risk for baby bottle decay.  The first tooth generally appears at 6 years of age.  Frequent exposure to sugar and liquids that contain juice, beast milk, and formula can harbor bacteria.  If the bacteria is in constant contact with the teeth an acidic medium will form after exposure for 20 minutes or longer according to the American Dental Association.

Prevention is the best step to stop the decay from forming.  For a baby who has a few teeth, use a child size tooth brush and water.  If your child 2 years and older, use ADA recommended tooth paste.  Infants and bottle users should not go to bed with a bottle of sweet juices nor soft drinks.  Also limit the exposure time to a sippy cup.

Healthy (left) Baby bottle decay (center) Severe decay (right)

Dr. Edgar Mendieta has a private orthodontic practice in Columbus, OH.  Visit us on Facebook!