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Nursing Bottle or Early Childhood Caries

nursing bottle cariesNursing Bottle Caries, also known as Baby Bottle or Early Childhood Caries, is the name given to the specific type of tooth decay that is generally seen in the front teeth of young children. Even though they are temporary, the importance of the primary/milk teeth cannot be underestimated – they give the child the ability to chew, speak, and of course, look great when smiling! In the absence of proper oral hygiene, and due to constant exposure to sugars, these teeth become highly susceptible to bacterial attacks and caries.
Mothers or primary care givers generally add extra sugar to their child’s milk bottle to make it taste better; and the child usually goes to sleep with the bottle still in his/her mouth. Milk also contains and natural sugar known as lactose. Exposure to these natural and added sugars for hours at a stretch become the main factor behind the development of Early Childhood Caries. However, there are a few simple ways in which the development of this form of caries can be avoided.
– Avoid allowing the child to go to sleep with the nursing bottle filled with milk in his/her mouth. If the child has gone to sleep, gently remove the bottle and clean it properly.
– Encourage your child to start using a cup for drinking milk and other beverages from his/her first birthday onwards. The earlier you inculcate the habit of using a cup, the better.
– Because your child cannot maintain proper oral hygiene on his/her own, it is your responsibility to help and educate them. Use a small sized toothbrush and a tiny amount of toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day, and especially before bedtime.
– Avoid sharing spoons with your baby, there are chances that you will transfer some of the decay causing bacteria in your saliva to your child’s mouth.
Learn more about different types of tooth decay and how they can be avoided easily with a few lifestyle/diet/habit modifications. Book your appointment with the leading team of dental professionals at Jeanne Taylor DDS today!