Baby bottle tooth decay is tooth decay in infants and children and most often occurs in the upper front teeth although other teeth may also be affected.
Prolonged milk bottle use may cause some children to develop cavities and lose their baby teeth early, and this is called baby bottle tooth decay (BBTD). The good news is that if the problem is recognised early, the tooth can still be saved.
Baby teeth are important for chewing. In addition, they also play a part in helping the baby learn how to speak and talk properly and healthy-looking teeth are a tremendous boost to a child's self-confidence and self-esteem.
The child's "milk teeth" are important because if these teeth decay and are lost too early, the tooth next to the decayed tooth may drift into the empty space making the adult tooth which develop later to grow crooked or crowded affecting the cosmetic part of your child's smile.
Causes of baby bottle tooth decay
The main cause is prolonged exposure to sweetened fluids from a bottle such as:
The frequency and duration of exposure to the sugars in these feeds also play an important role in the development of this disease.
The bacteria in the mouth produce acids which attack the enamel of the tooth and eventually destroy the tooth.
Sometimes tooth decay may set in as soon as the baby's first tooth erupts and may go unnoticed. Some of the common symptoms of tooth decay include:
The treatment options for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay vary depending on the severity of the condition.
Some simple tips to prevent this problem include:
Arrange regular dental check-ups for your child and you may start as early as your child's first birthday. If your child has dental problems, visit your dentist at the earliest.