How Long Is Formula Mixed With Breast Milk Good For Good Oral Hygiene Should Be Taught Early to Save Your Child’s Teeth

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Good Oral Hygiene Should Be Taught Early to Save Your Child’s Teeth

Good oral health must start when your child is an infant. Healthy habits taught early will benefit your child throughout life. But without proper care and attention, even babies and toddlers can develop serious and painful dental disease. Pediatric dentistry is very important to your little one’s health and well-being.

The most common cause of baby teeth loss is not accidents or injuries, but a condition called baby bottle tooth decay (BBTD), a severe and rapid pattern of tooth loss in infants and toddlers. Please don’t let the name Baby Bottle Tooth Decay mislead you, as this is a condition that also involves the solid foods your baby eats, including very harmful sugary foods like candy and desserts. The three elements necessary for tooth decay in an infant or toddler are teeth, plaque, and foods/drinks containing sugar and starch.

Even babies with brand new baby teeth have plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on the surface of the teeth. When plaque comes into contact with sugar and sweets, plaque bacteria produce acids that attach to and dissolve tooth enamel. This breakdown of enamel leads to the formation of a cavity.

Every time your baby or toddler consumes sugary or sweet liquids or foods, the acids produced by plaque attack the baby teeth. After numerous attacks from these acids, cavities can begin to form. What will surprise most new parents is that liquids that are good for your baby, such as milk, formula, breast milk, and fruit juices, all contain varying amounts of sugar. These nourishing liquids can actually contribute to cavities in your children. Sugar-rich fluids build up around your child’s teeth and gums, and the sugar acts as an energy source for bacteria to produce acids that attack teeth and cause cavities.

But tooth decay in babies and toddlers can be prevented. Parents should be extra careful about what they feed their children. Many parents use a bottle or milk to soothe their baby during naps and bedtime; however, sugary fluids collect around the teeth and gums, starting cavities. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to put your baby to sleep without a bottle, as the natural flow of saliva decreases while the baby sleeps and the body does not wash away the sugary liquid. This allows plaque to build up. Try the following instead.

· Security blanket, teddy bear or pacifier

· Music

· Swinging

· Reading to a child

· Using a baby swing to rock your baby to sleep

If you think your baby needs a bottle to fall asleep, fill it with water.

Good habits developed early lay the foundation for healthy smiles in the future. Teaching good oral hygiene habits early on and avoiding sugary drinks and foods, especially during the holidays, is crucial to preventing dental disease in your little ones.

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