Although they’re temporary, baby teeth play a critical role in your child’s oral development. For example, these early teeth allow your child to learn how to eat and communicate. They also act as placeholders for their underlying adult teeth.
Baby bottle tooth decay is tooth decay (or weakening of the enamel) that develops in baby teeth due to frequent contact with sugary beverages (like juice or milk) in a baby bottle that a child carries around or is given to suck on when put down to sleep.
Tooth decay usually occurs in the upper front teeth but can also occur in other teeth. If your child has untreated tooth decay, they may have:
- Discoloration on the surface of their teeth
- Tooth sensitivity & pain
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Bad breath
If you detect any of these warning signs, schedule an appointment at Austin Pearls Pediatric Dentistry! We will evaluate your child’s teeth and gums to come up with an appropriate treatment plan that will improve their oral health.
How to Prevent Decay in Baby Teeth
Here are simple ways to reduce your child’s risk of developing decay in their baby teeth:
- Don’t share utensils or drinks with your child
- Wipe your child’s teeth with a clean damp cloth after eating
- Brush your child’s teeth with a small toothbrush and a smear of fluoridated toothpaste until age 3, and a pea-sized amount after age 3.
- Only give your child formula or breastmilk in bottles instead of juice or soft drinks
- Limit bottles to feedings; don’t give your child a bottle in their bed or let them carry it around the house
- Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in sugar or honey
- Provide your child with a balanced diet and teach them to enjoy treats in moderation
- Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday
Comprehensive Pediatric Dental Care in Austin, TX
If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist that understands the unique needs of your child and provides a comfortable office environment, contact Austin Pearls Pediatric Dentistry! We offer a variety of dental services, including baby root canals and fillings, to help your child have a healthy smile even if they do develop baby bottle tooth decay.