Tooth decay in babies or children at a very early age is called baby bottle tooth decay.
It normally happens when liquids with natural sugars (like fruit juice, milk etc.) adhere to an infant’s teeth for a very long time. If breastfed infants fall asleep without swallowing milk in their mouth, they might also be at risk. Similarly are those children whose pacifiers are frequently dipped in sugar or syrup. The reason behind this tooth decay is the acid attack on these sugars resulting in decay. Baby bottle tooth decay often happens in the upper front teeth. However if this problem is not checked at early stage, other teeth may also get affected.
Often parents think that baby teeth are not permanent, and therefore not important. But, the reality is, that if baby bottle tooth decay is not treated, the child may develop poor eating habits, twisted teeth, speech problems and even broken adult teeth.
How can you prevent your child from Baby Bottle Decay?
At daytime, to comfort or calm your baby, don’t feed them with milk bottle. Instead, substitute plain water or a pacifier.
Do not dip your baby’s pacifier in sugar, honey, sweet juices or any other sugary liquid.
At bedtime, no need to put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with sweet liquids (watered-down fruit juice or milk still increases the chance of decay). Give plain water.
Don't feed your baby continuously throughout the night while sleeping since human breast milk can cause decay. Use a pacifier or give a bottle filled with plain water instead.
Do not add any extra sugar to your child’s food.
Use a wet cloth or gauze to wipe your child's teeth and gums after each feed. This helps to get rid of any bacteria-forming plaque and excess sugars that have grown on gums and teeth.