Even very young infants and toddlers can get tooth decay, and one of the biggest problems is called baby bottle tooth decay.
What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Many foods enjoyed by children and toddlers and including formula, milk and apple juice contain sugar. When a child drinks from a bottle, the sugar in liquids will coat their teeth. Bacteria in their mouth break down the sugars and produce acid as a by-product. The acid erodes the enamel on a child’s teeth, most often on the upper front teeth, eventually causing cavities. The good news is that it’s is preventable.
How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
The best way to prevent this problem is to limit the time your child has a bottle and especially at bedtime. Give them a bottle at mealtimes, but don’t let them suck in a bottle right throughout the day as this increases the time their teeth are exposed to sugars. Most importantly, don’t put them to bed with a night-time bottle containing juice or milk. If they do need a drink at bedtime give them plain water. Also, if your child likes to use a pacifier avoid dipping it in anything sweet. As soon as you can, teach a child how to drink from a cup.