Even though baby teeth are temporary, your child requires them to be able to chew food, speak and have a good looking smile, thus it is important to protect these teeth from decay.
The most common cause of early childhood caries is a frequent and prolonged exposure of the baby teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Baby’s teeth can decay when they are put to bed with a bottle or the bottle is used as a pacifier.
To prevent baby bottle caries:
- After feeding wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad
- Avoid licking spoons/pacifiers and sharing saliva with your infant as bacteria causing tooth decay can be passed from caregiver to child through saliva
- When the first tooth appears in your baby’s mouth clean it with a baby brush and a smear of fluoride paste
- Supervise your child’s brushing till they are 6-7 years as they cannot be counted on for not swallowing the toothpaste and may not have the manual dexterity to clean teeth.
- Do not put them to bed with sugary drinks in their bottles
- Encourage them to drink from a cup
- Encourage healthy eating habits
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay