Children need particular attention and protection during their vulnerable early years. And even though primary (baby) teeth are replaced after a few years, they are still incredibly important to a lifetime of good oral health. And just like all teeth, primary teeth are subject to tooth decay. Here is what you can do to prevent it in your child.
Tooth decay in babies and toddlers is sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay because one of its chief causes is prolonged exposure of teeth to sugary or acidic drinks in a bottle. Tooth decay occurs when acid in the mouth eats through tooth enamel. One of the sources of this acid is bacteria in plaque, for which sugar is a great source of food. To prevent tooth decay, don’t give your child juice or another sugary drink through a bottle, which enables it to be in contact with teeth almost constantly. Further, don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle. Even formula can cause damage if left in the mouth a long time.
Acid-producing bacteria can also be inadvertently passed from a caregiver through saliva. Sharing a spoon or cleaning a pacifier in your mouth are common activities that can introduce the bacteria into a baby’s mouth.
By eliminating potentially hazardous habits and maintaining good oral hygiene in your child, you can prevent the advent of tooth decay. To learn more about how to best care for your child’s teeth, please call Provo Pediatric Dental in Provo, UT, today. Drs. Trace M. Lund & Kevin R. Markham are anxious to help your child toward a lifetime of great oral health.