Infant Cavities & Baby Bottle Decay

Infant Cavities & Baby Bottle Decay

Let’s face it: cavities are not something any of us want. They are especially unpleasant for young children who haven’t yet learned to communicate their needs. Many infants end up with what is referred to as “baby bottle decay.”

This condition is commonly found with children who take a bottle to bed with them. If a child sips on juice or milk throughout the night, the sugars from these beverages are broken down by the bacteria in the mouth and produce acids that can destroy the teeth. These bacteria can stay active for up to an hour, which means that if a child takes periodic sips throughout the night, the bacteria are active for an hour after each individual sip.

If caught in the very early stages, cavities can often be treated. However, since the early stages are difficult to see, most childhood decay isn’t realized until later, more serious stages. If left unchecked, these teeth will deteriorate all the way down to the gum line and become infected. Severely decayed teeth would require extraction. If this occurs, children may develop poor eating habits, speech problems and damaged adult teeth.

The best and easiest solution to this problem is to adjust their nighttime beverage to water as it does not contain the sugars that cause the bacteria to be active. It is also recommended to check your child’s mouth regularly and to make a dental appointment if you notice anything unusual.

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