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What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Children tend to be especially vulnerable to developing cavities, which is why early dental care is so important. Tooth decay can even affect infants whose first teeth are only just beginning to erupt, a condition known as baby bottle tooth decay. Dr. Suzanne Fohl, the caring family dentist at Frederick Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Frederick, MD, offers pediatric dentistry services to help infants and children enjoy better oral health.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is a condition in which sugars mix with saliva and pool inside the young child’s mouth. These sugars are often found in breast milk, infant formula, or fruit juice, as well as certain snacks. The pools of sugary saliva expose the teeth to excess sugar and can lead to tooth decay. If the condition is not treated promptly, premature decay of the primary or baby teeth can occur, which can hinder the proper formation of the permanent teeth later on.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

There are several steps you can take to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, such as:

  • Refrain from giving babies a bottle while going to sleep
  • Avoid dipping pacifiers in sweet or sugary substances, such as honey
  • Teach young children to drink from a cup instead of a bottle

Scheduling regular dental checkups for your child at our pediatric dentistry office in Frederick, MD, is another way you can help prevent tooth decay. Kids should see a dentist within six months of having their first tooth erupt or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Kids should continue visiting the dentist for oral exams and teeth cleanings every six months. Regular dental visits that begin at an early age helps prevent major oral health issues and promote healthy teeth and gums.

Treating Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

It is possible to treat baby bottle tooth decay. In some cases, tooth enamel can be repaired and the decay can be reversed. Prompt treatment stops the spread of decay and prevents additional oral health issues from developing. Treatment might differ for each child depending on the severity of decay but could include fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and switching to fluoride toothpaste.

Baby bottle tooth decay can be prevented and we can help. For pediatric dentistry in Frederick, MD, schedule an appointment for your child with Dr. Fohl by calling Frederick Cosmetic & Family Dentistry at (301) 698-8200.

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