Nipomo Family Dentist Releases ‘Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay’
-“Baby bottle tooth decay,” is a common term for cavities in toddlers and very young children. Nipomo dentist, Dr. Douglas Ng, has some advice for parents to help keep their toddler’s and children’s teeth healthy.
The American Dental Association reports, “There are many factors which can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.”
“Even though your child’s teeth are temporary,” said Ng, “we don’t want those baby teeth to get cavities. Tooth decay effects more than just the teeth.”
Toothaches from decay and sore gums from gum disease are not only unhealthy, they can contribute to additional health problems, including leading to poor nutrition and causing problems with permanent teeth. “All of us, especially kids, tend to not eat very well when out mouth hurts and our overall health can suffer from improper nutrition,” said Ng, from his Nipomo dentist office.
The good news, is that there are steps parents can take to be sure their babies and young children have healthy mouths:
- Start in infancy by wiping baby’s gums with a clean damp soft wash cloth after every feeding.
- As soon as those first baby teeth start sprouting, brush them with a soft, child-sized toothbrush. Use a tiny drop of toothpaste. A rice-sized drop of toothpaste is good for toddlers up until 3 years. A pea sized amount for youngsters between 3 and 6 years.
- Avoid sharing saliva with your baby, such as sharing spoons or licking baby’s pacifier. Saliva transmits bacteria.
- Supervise children’s toothbrushing until around ages 6 to 7 years, to make sure they are learning to brush correctly.
- Floss your child’s teeth until they are able to do it on their own.
- Encourage good oral health practices by letting your child watch you brush and floss. Kids love to mimic their parents.
- Only use formula, milk, breast milk, or plain water in bottles. Avoid sugared water, juice or soft drinks.
- Make sure you infant finishes his or her bottle before taking a nap or going to bed.
- Don’t dip the pacifier in honey or something sweet to encourage your baby to use it.
- Start healthy eating habits as soon as possible.
Schedule your child’s first dental appointment as soon as the first tooth starts to appear. Starting early is the key to good dental health and oral health practices that will last your child as he or she grows into adulthood.
Dr. Ng uses the latest techniques and technologies to help his patients have healthy mouths and great smiles. His Nipomo dental services include:
- Special attention to the dental care needs of children
- General dentistry, examinations, fillings, cleanings and attention to the health of your mouth
- Restorative dentistry to repair damaged teeth, restore missing teeth, heal gums injured by gum disease, and more.
- Emergency dental care
Call for your appointment today.
Nipomo Family Dentistry
195 N Thompson Ave Suite #3
Nipomo, CA 93444