The only thing worse than a mouth full of cavities is having cavities at a very young age.
Not only are children more sensitive to the symptoms of cavities, but having cavities at a young age also means a higher potential for more other-related issues long throughout adulthood.
Here are some tips to avoid baby bottle tooth decay:
Don’t give your child a bottle of juice or other sugary beverage. Limit baby bottles to breast milk or formula only.
Surprisingly, this is a huge problem with a lot of parents. The more sugar a child is exposed to, the worse this will be on tooth development in the very near future. In fact, babies should not be exposed to sugar until later on.
Don’t share utensils with your child.
You may be thinking, “But we’re family,” but this does not eliminate the fact that oral bacteria can be transferred through shared utensils.
Oral bacteria doesn’t begin to develop rapidly until the eruption of the first tooth. Exposing your baby to oral bacteria through means of shared utensils is certainly not a positive route to go on.
Don’t put your child to sleep with a bottle.
Even putting your baby to sleep with a bottle of milk is not recommended. Both natural and unnatural sugars are harmful to the mouth in one way or another.
The longer a foreign liquid sits in the mouth, the higher the chance of tooth decay, much like the failure of brushing away food particles in the mouth. Play it safe, and give your baby a bottle before bed. Then, wipe their gums with a wet wash cloth before putting them to sleep.
By age one, your child should be drinking out of a cup. Encourage this.
As your child gets older, it’s likely they will be exposed to different beverages. Juices, chocolate milk, and other sugary beverages are likely to be given. If this is the case, bottles should not be in the picture as bottles sit longer in the mouth and provide more chances for tooth decay.
Provide healthy foods for your child.
Healthy vegetables and other healthy foods provide the vitamins and minerals needed to develop strong, healthy teeth, tooth enamel, and gums for good oral health for many years to come.
Limit sugar intake as much as possible, especially in the younger years of your child’s life. Learning to adapt to healthy foods now means healthier eating habits in the near future.
Provide oral hygiene for your child once their very first tooth comes in. Wipe their gums with a clean, wet wash cloth before the first tooth erupts.
Oral hygiene is very much still required before and right when the first tooth develops in your baby. Don’t ignore the fact that oral bacteria can be present very early on in life. It can very much cause oral-related problems for your child.
Take your child to their first dental visit by the time the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.
Part of caring for your child’s newly developed teeth is getting a professional checkup with a dental professional. A dentist will ensure your child’s teeth are coming in the way they should and that no oral-related problems are present. If issues are present, the proper measures can take place before issues worsen.
Continue to guide, support, and encourage good oral health for your child once they’re older.
Even long after your child begins to brush and care for their own teeth, watching and guiding them is the best way for them to learn to clean their teeth the right way.
Often times, children will brush too softly, too quickly, miss several parts of the mouth, use too much or not enough toothpaste, swallow their toothpaste instead of rinsing, or even brush for a few seconds instead of two minutes as required.
This is why parenting your children’s tooth brushing methods and reminding them to brush is vital.