Our Sherrills Ford Pediatric Dentist Explains How to Prevent Bottle Rot
You may have heard of bottle rot, or tooth decay caused by exposing a toddler’s teeth to sugary beverages. In today’s post, our Sherrills Ford pediatric dentist explains how to avoid causing baby bottle tooth decay, and what to do if you are already concerned that your young child has developed cavities.
The Main Cause of Bottle Rot
Two behaviors are primarily responsible for bottle rot. The first is putting the child to bed with a bottle in its mouth. The second is using sugary beverages as a behavior control mechanism (i.e. handing a child a sugary drink to keep him or her quiet.) Both of these behaviors expose the child’s delicate teeth to sugar for an extended period of time. Bacteria in the mouth then convert the sugar into acid, which destroys the tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Why Take Care of Baby Teeth?
Some parents assume that there is no need to care for baby teeth, because they will “fall out anyway.” However, cavities can still be very harmful to children, even if they lose teeth that contain them. Firstly, the bacteria in the teeth can spread to the rest of the body, causing significant health problems. Secondly, healthy baby teeth are necessary to ensure that the permanent teeth grow in correctly. Finally, if cavities are left to grow, they will eventually reach the tooth’s inner pulp and the sensitive root, causing pain for your child whenever he or she eats or drinks. All in all, it’s important to keep up with your toddler’s oral care, and limit his or her exposure to sugary drinks as much as possible.
Tips on Limiting Sugar Intake
Firstly, never put your child to bed with a bottle of juice. Aside from causing bottle rot, this is also presents a choking hazard. Do not dip a pacifier into honey or maple syrup.
Try to limit fruit juice, especially juice with added sugar. Don’t be fooled by pictures of fruit and claims of health benefits on the packaging—most fruit juices are very high in sugar, with no fiber to offset it. Another option if you do not want to give up juice entirely is to dilute it with water.
Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth at Our Sherrills Ford Kid’s Dentist Office
Generally, you can start taking your baby to the dentist as soon as you notice the first tooth erupting. Dental checkups for infants are mainly a time to talk about the health of your baby’s teeth, as well as steps that you can take to avoid problems like bottle rot. If you’d like your child’s teeth to grow in perfectly and remain clean and strong, bring him or him in for a checkup today! To request an appointment with Sherrills Ford Pediatric Dentistry, click here.