Children need healthy and strong Teeth for their physical growth as they need to bite and chew food particles properly. Although their milk teeth are temporary in nature, it is very much essential to keep them healthy so as to ensure proper alignment and eruption of permanent tooth. Children’s milk teeth, akin to their permanent counterparts, are very much susceptible to cavities and other dental issues due to improper oral hygiene practices, says a reputed child dentist in Pune.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, also known as early childhood caries, is one of the common problems that usually pop up for children under the age of five. Let’s have a look on what exactly is it and how it can be prevented and treated.
What causes it?
As the name indicates, it is a type of tooth decay that occurs due to prolonged exposure of teeth to large quantity of sugar. As it is a common practice among parents to use sugary juices or milk in the bottle as pacifier for extended time, bacteria present in the teeth happily feeds on the sugary substance and releases acidic products. These acids in turn attack teeth and cause damage to enamel and there by lead to tooth decay.
How to prevent it?
- Never and ever use feeding bottles for sugary juices or soft drinks.
- Stop putting your child in sleep with juice in the bottle. If your child needs a bottle while sleeping, fill it with water.
- If you are using pacifier, provide a clean and sterilized one rather than a one that is dipped in honey, sugary water, or juice.
- Make it a point to wipe your baby’s gums and teeth with clean wash cloth after feeding them milk and food.
- Once milk teeth erupt, make it a point to brush your child’s teeth regularly.
- As a good oral practice, encourage good eating habits and limit the intake of sugary juices and soft drinks to your child.
- Finally, don’t forget to initiate routine visits to our child dental clinic in Pune and make it a point to schedule it for every six months.
How to detect early childhood caries?
Usually, the attack is on the upper frontal teeth and that being said, it is not a rule. The first symptoms of early childhood caries appear as white spots on frontal teeth, indicating the erosion of enamel. When left untreated, these white spots get transformed into brown or black color, clearly indicating the onset of tooth decay process, warns a reputed dentist in Koregaon Park, Pune.
Is treatment necessary?
Many parents have the notion that all milk teeth would be eventually replaced by the permanent ones and hence don’t consider decay of early childhood teeth to be a serious issue. It is not so, as proper health and growth of milk teeth are very much essential for following reasons:
- Babies need proper milk teeth to chew, bite, speak and even to present a lovely smile.
- The loss of a baby tooth may lead to drifting of adjacent milk teeth and thereby prevent proper eruption and alignment of permanent tooth.
- When Baby Bottle Tooth decay is not treated early, it can lead to infection spreading across all other teeth and pave way for unnecessary dental complications.
Akin to any other dental issue, the treatment methodology depends on age and severity of the problem. Even in the event of onset of childhood caries, it can be treated, but as with any other treatment, sooner the detection, easier is the treatment.
- When the problem is detected at early stage, the surface enamel can be rebuilt by using fluoridated supplements or varnishes. Needless to say, the intake of sugary substances needs to be limited for the child.
- When the problem gets to advanced stage, the treatment is more or less similar to that of an adult and may result in tooth restoration process or even extraction.
It should be borne in the mind that prevention through good oral care practices is the only best approach to avoid baby bottle tooth decay. If your child is experiencing caries, make it a point to visit a dental clinic at the earliest opportunity and discuss with the dentists in Pune to finalize the best treatment method.
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