Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Causes & Treatment

Baby bottle tooth decay is a condition that leads to cavities and early tooth loss of baby teeth. It is usually caused by prolonged use of the milk bottle.

Many parents are completely unaware of the risks of prolonged milk bottle use, and how important dental health is even for infants and toddlers. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about baby bottle tooth decay!

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

When the child uses the baby bottle for a long time, their gums and baby teeth are exposed to sugary fluids which increases their risk of tooth decay tremendously. You might not be giving your child sugary sodas, but even the natural sugars in milk, formula, or even honey are enough to lead to tooth decay over time.

Sugars will remain in your child’s mouth and feed the bacteria present here. Over time, the bacteria start attacking the teeth and lead to cavities and decay.

Some signs of baby bottle tooth decay can include:

  • Toothaches
  • White spots on the teeth
  • Inflammation in the gum area, even slight bleeding
  • Holes in the teeth (cavities)
  • Fever if the tooth or gums are infected

How Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Treated?

If you notice the signs of baby bottle tooth decay in your child, it’s important to take them to a pediatric dentist right away to access the right treatment. If left unchecked, this condition can lead to more pain, infection, and even permanent damage to your child’s oral health.

Some treatment options for this condition can include:

  • Applying fluoride treatments to remineralize teeth
  • Removing decay and applying a dental filling
  • Placing dental sealants on certain teeth to avoid the cavity from spreading
  • In extreme cases, tooth extraction may be necessary

Of course, the best course of treatment is prevention, so you should also:

  • Start cleaning the child’s gums and teeth with a wet cloth after every bottle feed, even infants.;
  • Start brushing teeth as soon as they erupt;
  • Wean the child off the bottle, and don’t leave the bottle with them unattended;
  • Give water instead of juices or teas to help cleanse the mouth;
  • Take them to regular dentist appointments.

With proper oral health care, you can help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy, and establish positive habits that will serve them well into adulthood!

Bring Your Child to Green Leaf Dental

If you noticed the signs of baby bottle tooth decay or are just looking for a friendly dentist to take care of your child’s oral health, we at Green Leaf Dental are more than happy to help! Our services will help the little one’s oral health get back on track.

Schedule your child's appointment with Yonatan Ahdut (Dr. Yoni) or Geoffrey Bean (Dr. Bean), or call our office directly at (206) 316-2351 for more information about our pediatric dental services.

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