It is extremely important to keep your baby's baby teeth healthy. These are the teeth that help with speech and pronunciation, chewing food properly, maintaining jaw space for adult teeth, and positioning the tongue properly in the mouth. When these are affected by tooth decay or trauma, adjacent teeth move to fill the space. This can lead to the need for orthodontic treatment.
Here's a guide to help you understand what baby bottle tooth decay is and how to make your child feel better.
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay is also called "early childhood tooth decay". It usually appears around the age of 3 or 4. It usually develops quickly. It usually occurs in infants as well as in young children. It has the disadvantage of being able to harm the teeth. Indeed, it attacks the child's teeth and leads to their loss. However, it is much more frequent on the front teeth of the upper jaw. Premature tooth loss leads to nutritional and phonetic problems.
Symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay
It is important to know that it is the front teeth that are first affected by baby bottle tooth decay. The first cavities usually appear on the upper teeth, between the canines. Stains will appear on the decayed tooth. As the decay progresses, it will dig into the tooth and attack the tooth neck. The teeth will turn brown and then black. The demineralization of the enamel and then of the dentin makes them very fragile and they break easily. Without care, teeth eaten away by cavities will shrink and take on the appearance of stumps.
Here are the different degrees of severity of baby bottle tooth decay:
- Slightly improper brushing of the teeth: you will see a dull white band on your child's teeth. It will be located near the gum line. This is a sign that you have been neglecting brushing your child's teeth.
- A much more advanced stage of tooth decay: you will see a yellow, brown or black band on your child's teeth. It will be near the gum line.
- A much more serious problem: you will see your child's teeth become brown/black in color.
Causes of baby bottle tooth decay
Baby bottle tooth decay most often affects children who fall asleep with their bottle. Indeed, it happens particularly often that you let your child sleep with a bottle containing a sweet liquid, such as milk, fruit juice, or sweetened water, or with a pacifier dipped in honey or syrup. However, the bacteria present in the mouth will transform this sugar into lactic acid, which will be the cause of dental caries because milk teeth are much more fragile than permanent teeth. This dental caries will first make a hole by attacking the enamel and then the dentin.
Ways to repair the effects of baby bottle tooth decay
Good oral hygiene as well as good oral hygiene will prevent the need to repair the effects of baby bottle tooth decay.
Here are the different ways to repair the effects of baby bottle tooth decay:
- Good tooth brushing: you should gently brush your baby's gums with a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and water or a tooth and gum cleaner made especially for babies. Or wipe them with a gauze pad or damp cloth.
- Proper feeding of baby: You should reduce the amount of sugar in your child's diet, but especially between meals at noon and night.
- The presence of water in his bottle: you must remember to gradually dilute the contents of the bottle with water for at least two to three weeks.
- Regular dental visits: You should schedule regular dental visits before your child's first birthday.
You can try brushing with the Y-Brush toothbrush when your child is older to prevent tooth decay. Indeed, it is a toothbrush which offers an effective toothbrushing of each tooth of your baby in only 10 seconds but also of the gums. It will allow to brush all the faces even internal of the teeth of your baby simultaneously and to take care of it.
We hope you understand what baby bottle tooth decay is. We also hope that you understand the symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay so that you can easily identify if your child has this tooth decay. We also hope that you understand the causes so that you don't make the same mistakes you have in the past. The different ways we've outlined will help your child recover from tooth decay.