While babies can use bottles, these items can lead to some tooth decay and mouth formation problems. This is a major issue once the teeth start to erupt through the gums. As a parent, you need to do everything you can to keep your child's teeth healthy. Here's all you need to know about protecting a child's teeth from baby bottle tooth decay.
Only Opt for Milk or Water
Dentists agree that only two types of liquids should be put in baby bottles: milk or water. Any other types of liquids are full of sugars. The way that bottles are designed the liquids hit the teeth first, so they're more exposed to the sugars in drinks. Avoid fruit juices, squash, and pop in the baby bottles to avoid tooth decay due to this.
Babies and young children only need water or milk to live. Whether using a baby bottle or cup, these are the best two options. If you want to give fruit juices, diluted juice, or other options, then do it in a cup and only at meal times. Meal times only will help to limit the prolonged exposure to sugary liquids.
Only Opt for Water Before Bedtime
While young children will need milk before bed, after around a year old they usually don't. The sucking on the bottle is more of a soother than a necessary health item. Avoid putting any liquids that can damage the teeth at this time of night, including natural, sugar-filled milk! Water will keep your child hydrated and protect the teeth at the same time.
Bacteria growth is the worst at night since the mouth doesn't produce as much saliva. Dentists recommend water since it doesn't cause food or sugar particles to stick in the mouth, allowing bacteria to form and grow.
Wipe Down the Gums
Babies that don't have teeth won't need toothbrushes, but that doesn't mean you should avoid cleaning the gums. You'll want to get rid of as much bacteria as possible from the mouth. The best way to do that is through the use of a soft cloth after every feed. Once the teeth push through, you can start using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Be gentle when brushing; otherwise, there is the risk of damaging the gums. You won't need any toothpaste with the cloth, but use a smear of fluoride toothpaste until the age of three years, according to Mouth Healthy. You can use a pea-sized amount between the ages of three and six years.
Only you can look after your child's teeth and mouth. Start from day one, because baby bottles can be a major issue for the baby teeth, according to dentists. These teeth may only be temporary, but the health of them can affect the health of the permanent teeth even from a young age.