Tag Archives: baby teeth

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

child-228439_1280Like tiny feet and fingers, baby teeth may only be around for a little while, but they are important. Baby teeth help ensure that the permanent teeth come in properly. In addition, little ones need healthy, strong baby teeth to help them chew, speak clearly and show their bright smile.

Temporary as they may be, baby teeth are susceptible to cavities, just like adult teeth. In babies and toddlers, tooth decay is often referred to as ‘baby-bottle tooth decay’ or early childhood caries.

What Causes Baby Bottle Decay?

Early childhood caries is most often seen in the upper front teeth, but can affect any of the teeth. It occurs primarily because of prolonged exposure to liquids containing sugar. Breast milk and formula both contain a form of sugar which can cause cavities.

When a baby is put down to sleep with a bottle, or a bottle is used as a pacifier, it causes prolonged exposure to the sugary liquid inside. In addition, cavity causing bacteria can be passed from mother to baby through saliva- when a mother puts the baby spoon in her mouth, or passes saliva another way, it can introduce cavity causing bacteria into the baby’s mouth.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Decay

The good news about cavities is that they can be prevented. Babies who get enough fluoride (from fluorinated water) have less chance of developing decay.

Avoid allowing baby to fall asleep with a bottle or to use a bottle at any time other than feeding time. Proper oral hygiene for babies is important, even before their first tooth comes in. Gently clean the gums with a soft cloth after feeding, and move up to a soft child-sized toothbrush with the appearance of the first tooth. The use of a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste is advisable until the age of 3, when a pea sized amount is recommended.
Teaching good dental habits from the start will help your baby develop good dental hygiene as they grow. Always supervise your child’s brushing to make sure teeth are getting clean. As baby grows, encourage the use of a sippy cup by her first birthday.
For more information on protecting your baby’s teeth, contact Park Saratoga Dental.

Baby Teeth- A Parent’s Guide


kids dental health month
A Healthy Dental Start is Important

February is Children’s Dental Health Month and the perfect time to discuss the basics for a healthy dental start for your little ones. Taking good care of your child’s baby teeth will help set him up for a lifetime of healthy dental habits. Experts agree that teaching good personal dental hygiene from an early age has a big impact on dental hygiene habits later on. In addition, introducing professional dental care from the start helps alleviate any stress your child may feel about going to the dentist. Here are some common questions and answers about children’s dental health which will help you get on the best dental path for healthy adult teeth.

At What Age Should I Take My Child For His First Check-Up?

According to the American Dental Association, children should have their first professional dental check-up within six months of the arrival of their first tooth, but no later than age one. Starting out in a dental ‘home’ with well-baby dental check-ups sets the stage for dental success, and ensures that your child’s first visits to the dentist occur when no problems exist. Your dentist can provide instruction on proper cleaning and caring for your baby’s teeth. He may also offer important insight on topics such as a healthy diet, fluoride and preventing tooth decay. A clinical examination will detect early signs of cavities or other dental problems that may exist.

How Do I Brush My Baby’s Teeth?

The first teeth will come in around age 6 months to one year. Even before the arrival of the first tooth, you will want to begin daily teeth cleaning. You can use a clean, dampened gauze pad, washcloth or fingertip brush made for this purpose. Clean teeth and gums twice a day. Once there are several baby teeth present, you can use a soft baby toothbrush to gently clean teeth.

Does My Child Need Sealants?

Sealants are designed to fill crevices in tooth surfaces which are likely to harbor bacteria and result in tooth decay. Sealants are often used to prevent cavities in the permanent molars, and are placed as they arrive. In some cases, your dentist may recommend sealants in baby teeth. Children are often not capable of practicing truly effective preventive care. They may not be coordinated enough to brush thoroughly. Sealants can help keep destructive bacteria out of the grooves and crevices in teeth and prevent cavities until your child’s dental habits become well-practiced and effective.
Setting your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth is important. Kids who learn good dental habits early have healthier teeth as adults. To schedule your child’s dental visit now, visit our website.