Baby bottle tooth decay, or early childhood caries, is unfortunately a common dental health problem for children. However, it is also easily preventable. Here are a few things you should know about baby bottle tooth decay.
- Even though baby teeth fall out eventually, they are important for chewing, speaking, and guiding in permanent teeth.
- One of the most common causes of early childhood caries is prolonged exposure to sugary drinks in a baby bottle. This is prevented by only putting milk or formula in a bottle and by never putting your child to bed with it.
- A child’s primary teeth start to erupt between 6 and 12 months of age. It is important to start caring for these teeth right away by brushing them with a grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste (pea-sized if the child is between 3 and 6 years of age).
- Spreading oral bacteria from a caregiver to a child can also cause tooth decay. Do not share spoons with your child or clean their pacifier with your mouth.
- Your child should start seeing a dentist as soon as their teeth appear. The dentist can keep an eye on their teeth and may give additional advice on how to keep them healthy.