Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Causes and Prevention

It is important to feed milk to the infants. The use of bottles to feed milk is an age-old practice which is still carried on. But do you think that it is the right practice? Is the use of bottle really the right way or are there any other way of dealing with it. Is it really important to feed babies with the bottle? Is there any damage attached to the same?

baby bottle tooth decay

No matter how age-old practice it may be but the most common effect they can cause is dental decay or which is called nursing bottle decay or dental caries. Let’s get an insight to understand what actually baby bottle decay means and how it can be prevented.

Nursing caries is caused in kids who have a habit of sleeping with the bottle on. Sometimes it is also termed as the baby bottle or nursing bottle tooth decay. It is characterised by extensive destruction of most of the milk teeth in infants who hold nursing bottles and pacifiers in their mouths for long periods of time, for example, while falling asleep with the nipple of the bottle or pacifier in the mouth, therefore providing a favorable environment for bacteria to harbour.

Causes of Nursing Bottle Decay

  • Use of pacifier by the child which is dipped with jelly or usage of Food products such as milk formulas, honey, fruit juices, etc.
  • Night feeding which poses a serious threat especially if the teeth not cleaned after feeding
  • Carrying the habit of feeding beyond a given age, i.e., beyond 12 to 15 months
  • Children who are affected by sleep disorders
  • Infants with low birth-weight (less than 2.5kg)

Caries which are also known as Early childhood caries (ECC) has a particular patter which is black to yellow brownish decay pattern affecting almost all surfaces of milk teeth. if left untreated, ECC can even lead to pain, swellings and in the extreme case can even lead to loss of teeth. This in turn leads to poor speech articulations and loss of confidence in children. Hence, it is vital to treat and prevent such dental decay.

Tips to Prevent Baby Bottle Decay

Educating the parents and their guardians is a very important task and should be take into consideration. Informing them about ECC is the first and foremost part of prevention.

  • The primary step is Pre-natal counseling towards prevention which involves educating mothers about oral hygiene practices. This includes clearing out the myths related to oral hygiene during pregnancy which should be clarified. They need to be educated about dental development in children and various preventive programs related to the same.
  • The next step is Post-natal counseling. It is the most important part of preventive management. It is important to discuss the proper feeding practices and bottle use, eruption pattern of teeth and teething period of children.
  • Breast-feeding should be encouraged.
  • Kids should not be allowed to be put to sleep with feeding bottle in mouth.
  • Water can be given after feeding with bottles. Otherwise, mouth should be cleaned soon after feeding.
  • Parents should introduce kids with cups at a very early age, starting from the age when children start to wean.
  • Lastly to break the habit of bottle feeding, milk or sweetened juices can be introduced with plain boiled water. This dilution is done gradually replacing milk with water.

Good oral health of our little ones lies in our hands. A preventive routine dental checkup for children must be scheduled before the first birthday. Look for kids dentist near me option and visit the best child dentist. Educating the parents on these grounds can be helpful in early detection of ECC, hence limiting its potential complications.

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Article Author Details

Shashi Das