Crazy, right? Even babies who barely have any teeth get cavities. It's more common than you think. Known as Early Childhood Caries or "baby bottle tooth decay," we often see this when a baby’s teeth are exposed to milk, formula, or sugary drinks and high carbohydrate foods. Fortunately, Little Critter Pediatric Dentistry can help you avoid this problem.
Do not give your child a bottle to sleep with at night. If a bottle of milk helps with bedtime, know that milk coats the teeth with sugar and causes decay. We advise feeding your child, then brushing his/her teeth before bed, with no snacks or drinks after.
While we are huge supporters of breastfeeding per the American Academy of Pediatric Guidelines, Dr. Keta does not recommend on demand breastfeeding or breastfeeding multiple times during the night in healthy children. This frequent exposure of carbohydrates and natural sugars can lead to dental decay. This decay commonly occurs on the front top teeth, starting as enamel damage (white decalcification) and progressing to holes in the teeth.
Oral Hygiene and Diet
Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush to adequately remove plaque and cavity-causing-bacteria on the teeth, gums, and tongue. Caregivers should clean the teeth at least once a day (most importantly before bedtime following the last feeding), but twice a day is always best. If your child is under one year old, just use water on the brush, and if they are older than one, use fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). Your child may not be spitting well, but with such a small amount of toothpaste, there shouldn’t be much to swallow or wipe out.
Little Critter encourages flossing your child's teeth every night. Use the string floss or floss picks to gentle sweep between the areas teeth touch. This is especially important between the back molars.
Juice might appear healthy, but it is packed with sugar and acid. We would advise not giving your children juice, but if you insist, limit it to one 4-6 ounce cup, only at a mealtime. Your child should drink milk at meal times and water throughout the day, limiting sugary beverages (juice, soda, sports drinks). Also, avoid sticky, chewy, and sugary foods like caramel, taffy, and tough fruit chews like Starburst or roll-ups. Beware of gummy vitamins. These foods easily get stuck between teeth, so floss your children's teeth right after they indulge in these treats.