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If you’re a new parent, you likely worry about your baby’s physical health 24/7. Don’t neglect their dental health though. While they are temporary, your child’s baby teeth are vital to their health, and can still get filled with cavities if you’re not careful. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries.
Children require strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak properly and have a beautiful smile. Healthy first teeth will also ensure their adult teeth will come in correctly. It’s never too early to start babies off with good oral care to help protect their teeth for the years and decades to come.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay happens most in the upper front teeth, although other teeth are not immune. Several factors cause tooth decay, the most common of which is the prolonged, frequent exposure of your baby’s teeth to beverages containing sugar. Tooth decay is a real risk if you put your baby to bed with a bottle, or when you use a bottle to pacify your fussy baby.
Tooth decay is a disease that often begins when cavity-causing bacteria is passed from the mother to the infant, essentially through the saliva. When you put your baby’s feeding spoon in your own mouth, or clean a pacifier in your own mouth, that bacteria can easily be passed to the baby.
Another common factor? If your infant or toddler does not get enough fluoride, they are also at increased risk for tooth decay. But fear not, parents: decay is preventable.
Once the first tooth appears, speak to the dentist about making an appointment for their first dental visit. This first dental visit should be just as important as their well-baby checkups with the physician. Remember: the key to a lifetime of good dental health starts early.
Ready to schedule your baby’s first appointment? Contact us at 818-762-2977. Our dentists and hygienists are very good with small children, so you will know they’re in good hands with us.