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Guest Post: The Truth about Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Posted Nov 05 2010 12:00am

By the age of nine months, five percent of babies have some form of tooth decay. That figure leaps to 15 percent by one year old and 17 percent by four years old! Tooth decay in babies and children is the result of various habits including sugary drinks, sweets and night time bottle feedings.

The type of tooth decay that results from night time bottle feedings is referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. This type of tooth decay encompasses common bottle feeding habits such as slow-feeding and night time bottles. Lactose in formula contains extra sugar and when babies are allowed to hold their own bottle and slowly sip from it, milk stays in the mouth longer, saturating the gums and/or teeth. Tooth decay resulting from slow nursing is more prevalent in older babies. This is similar to what happens to babies who drink milk at bedtime — for the duration of the night, the sugary milk sits on the gums and teeth, forming cavities. When sugar sits on your child’s teeth, it combines with bacteria in the mouth that produces acids that attack the tooth enamel. In bottle-fed babies, the upper front teeth are the most susceptible to tooth decay.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay can be prevented by employing a few simple tactics.

  1. Ensure that your child does not fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice in their mouth.

  2. If your child is 12 to 18 months old, try combining the milk with water, gradually increasing the ratio of water to milk over time so that the bottle is mostly water.

  3. Consider breastfeeding your child. Research performed in 1999 confirmed that breast milk does not produce cavities. The mother’s milk contains immune factors which reduce the presence of cavity-causing bacteria that lead to tooth decay.

  4. Mothers who are susceptible to tooth decay should be aware that it is still possible to pass this trait on to your children and should take care during pregnancy to prevent tooth decay.

Knowing when to wean your child can also affect tooth decay. Children should begin the weaning process when they are about six months old, although this age is just a suggestion. Other things to consider when deciding when to wean your child include factors of your child’s development.

For instance, your child is most likely ready to begin the weaning process when he or she can sit up on their own and have been eating meals at regular times during the day. Be sure to consult your paediatrician for more information on weaning and to ensure that your child is ready to make the move from the bottle to the cup.

Many babies and children cling to the bottle for comfort, especially at night time. This can make weaning and stopping before-bed feedings difficult. It is important to be aware that your child may be attached to the bottle and views sucking on it as soothing. With this in mind, there are some alternatives to consider during the weaning process.

  1. Fill your baby’s bottle with water or diluted milk.

  2. Replace the bottle with a dummy at bedtime. It has been found that babies who use dummies are at lower risk for cot death. However, be advised that prolonged dummy use could effect speech and language development as well as alter your child’s teeth alignment.

Ultimately, it is best to be aware of causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay and ways to prevent it. Be sure to speak with your child’s GP if you are concerned that he or she is at risk for developing cavities. Your child’s GP can advise you of measures to take and other ways to prevent tooth decay.

This article was written by Richard who is a freelance writer. He has produced content for many blogs, including those to do with parenting (as with your good selves, green related and other health matters, but has a particular interest in cosmetic dentistry

/or teeth. Tooth decay resulting from slow nursing is more prevalent in older babies. This is similar to what happens to babies who drink milk at bedtime — for the duration of the night, the sugary milk sits on the gums and teeth, forming cavities. When sugar sits on your child’s teeth, it combines with bacteria in the mouth that produces acids that attack the tooth enamel. In bottle-fed babies, the upper front teeth are the most susceptible to tooth decay.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay can be prevented by employing a few simple tactics.

  1. Ensure that your child does not fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice in their mouth.

  2. If your child is 12 to 18 months old, try combining the milk with water, gradually increasing the ratio of water to milk over time so that the bottle is mostly water.

  3. Consider breastfeeding your child. Research performed in 1999 confirmed that breast milk does not produce cavities. The mother’s milk contains immune factors which reduce the presence of cavity-causing bacteria that lead to tooth decay.

  4. Mothers who are susceptible to tooth decay should be aware that it is still possible to pass this trait on to your children and should take care during pregnancy to prevent tooth decay.

Knowing when to wean your child can also affect tooth decay. Children should begin the weaning process when they are about six months old, although this age is just a suggestion. Other things to consider when deciding when to wean your child include factors of your child’s development.

For instance, your child is most likely ready to begin the weaning process when he or she can sit up on their own and have been eating meals at regular times during the day. Be sure to consult your paediatrician for more information on weaning and to ensure that your child is ready to make the move from the bottle to the cup.

Many babies and children cling to the bottle for comfort, especially at night time. This can make weaning and stopping before-bed feedings difficult. It is important to be aware that your child may be attached to the bottle and views sucking on it as soothing. With this in mind, there are some alternatives to consider during the weaning process.

  1. Fill your baby’s bottle with water or diluted milk.

  2. Replace the bottle with a dummy at bedtime. It has been found that babies who use dummies are at lower risk for cot death. However, be advised that prolonged dummy use could effect speech and language development as well as alter your child’s teeth alignment.

Ultimately, it is best to be aware of causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay and ways to prevent it. Be sure to speak with your child’s GP if you are concerned that he or she is at risk for developing cavities. Your child’s GP can advise you of measures to take and other ways to prevent tooth decay.

 

This article was written by Richard who is a freelance writer. He has produced content for many blogs, including those to do with parenting, green related and other health matters, but has a particular interest in cosmetic dentistry .

 

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