Your little one’s toothy smile is probably the sunshine of your life. But that smile can be ruined when your baby is allowed to go to sleep with a bottle containing anything other than water. Baby bottle tooth decay, or bottle mouth as it is often referred to, is a condition where newly erupted baby teeth become decayed. If your child has this problem your pediatric dentist in Houston can treat it.
Baby Teeth Are Important
While it may seem those baby teeth are not necessarily all that important because they will eventually be lost anyway, they are very important. The obvious fact is that little children need their teeth so they can chew their food and speak properly. The not so obvious fact is that the primary or baby teeth provide the pathway for the permanent teeth to come in properly. Keeping these tiny pearly whites in good condition is vital.
Causes of Bottle Mouth
Bottle mouth is caused when a baby’s teeth are constantly bathed in liquids containing sugar. When you put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, those newly erupted teeth are in a hostile environment. Pediatric dentists in Houston advise against this practice.
The sugar in juice and milk along with bacteria in the baby’s mouth combine and produce acids which eat away at the tooth enamel. Baby teeth are more susceptible to decay than permanent teeth. It does not take long for cavities to develop in these tiny teeth. You may wonder where the bacteria come from. Cavity-causing bacteria are passed through saliva to the baby’s mouth. Putting baby’s spoon in your mouth, or cleaning off a bottle nipple or pacifier with your mouth, spreads the bacteria to your baby’s mouth.
Bottle Mouth Treatment by Pediatric Dentist
Houston parents need to know that bottle mouth can be treated and if caught early enough the affected teeth can be saved. Usually the upper front teeth are most affected; however, bottle mouth can cause cavities in any of the teeth. If you notice white spots or brown spots on your child’s teeth you need to make a trip to the pediatric dentist. Houston has very good dentists who can treat this problem.
Early intervention may include fluoride treatments on the white spots to remineralize the teeth. Your pediatric dentist will also show you how to properly care for your baby’s teeth so that bottle mouth will not be a problem.
More severe cases of bottle mouth will need to be treated much the same way as decay in permanent teeth. Stainless steel crowns may be indicated to protect the teeth if they do not need to be removed. Severely decayed or infected teeth will most likely need to be extracted.
At Kids 4 Every, your little ones are in good hands with our pediatric dentists. Houston parents trust us to provide the best dental care for their little ones along with education on how to keep dental problems at bay. Call today and make an appointment for a dental exam for your little one.