What can I do to prevent baby bottle tooth decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay can be completely prevented by a committed parent. Making regular dental appointments and following the guidelines below will keep each child’s smile bright, beautiful, and free of decay:
- Try not to transmit bacteria to your child via saliva exchange. Rinse pacifiers and toys in clean water, and use a clean spoon for each person eating.
- Clean gums after every feeding with a clean washcloth.
- Use an appropriate toothbrush along with an ADA-approved toothpaste to brush when teeth begin to emerge. Fluoride-free toothpaste is recommended for children under the age of two.
- Use a pea-sized amount of ADA-approved fluoridated toothpaste when the child has mastered the art of “spitting out” excess toothpaste. Though fluoride is important for the teeth, too much consumption can result in a condition called fluorosis.
- Do not place sugary drinks in baby bottles or sippy cups. Only fill these containers with water, breast milk, or formula. Encourage the child to use a regular cup (rather than a sippy cup) when the child reaches twelve months old.
- Do not dip pacifiers in sweet liquids (honey, etc.).
- Review your child’s eating habits. Eliminate sugar-filled snacks and encourage a healthy, nutritious diet.
- Do not allow the child to take a liquid-filled bottle to bed. If the child insists, fill the bottle with water as opposed to a sugary alternative.
- Clean your child’s teeth until he or she reaches the age of seven. Before this time, children are often unable to reach certain places in the mouth.
- Ask the pediatric dentist to review your child’s fluoride levels.
If you have questions or concerns about baby bottle tooth decay, please contact our office.
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