Toddlers and infants can easily get tooth decay caused by bacteria that feeds on sugars found in milk and juice. This bacterial action in the baby’s mouth causes the teeth to rot and leaves the baby’s teeth looking discolored, black or fully eroded.
If you are in the habit of sending your baby to sleep with some warm milk or some juice or always giving your child a sippy cup to pacify them throughout the day, then your child is likely to suffer from baby bottle tooth decay.
In order to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, there are a few things that you could do to prevent damage and other dental problems in your toddler or infant. You don’t need to be a dental professional to be able to start reversing the damage you may have done to your baby’s teeth.
Make a habit of cleaning your baby’s teeth
The easiest and most effective way to prevent tooth decay in adults, and children alike is to clean teeth regularly. Cleaning your child’s teeth and mouth properly will prevent sugar and bacteria remaining in your child’s mouth and causing tooth decay.
In order to clean your child’s teeth and mouth properly, you need to ensure that you:
Brush your child’s teeth: Use a toothbrush that is a good size for your child’s mouth as well as some toothpaste that your child may like. Brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day but specifically just before bedtime.
If you want to clean the mouth of a baby who has few or no teeth, simply wipe the baby’s gum after feeding. Ensure that the damp cloth that you use is just the right temperature.
To ensure that no dental problems are creeping into your baby’s teeth and mouth, it is important to take your child to the dentist at least once a year and if possible once every six months.
Improve your baby’s bedtime routine
Some of the bedtime routines that you could change to improve your baby’s oral and dental health include the following:
Progressively switch your baby’s bedtime drink from milk or juice to plain warm water. You could do this by diluting the baby’s drink more and more until it contains just water.
Wean your child off the baby bottle, just before sleeping.
Avoid dipping pacifiers in sugar or honey in order to make your baby attracted to the device.
Get your child used to drinking water as a main drink
Not only will sipping water be a healthier choice for your baby, it can also serve to wash away bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
Even organic or 100% juice has sugar that bacteria in your child’s mouth feed on causing tooth decay. If you have to give your child some juice, dilute it as much as possible.
Get into the habit of only giving your child milk and juice at specific hours of the day and not throughout the day.