The enamel is the outer cover of the teeth. It makes the teeth stronger and reduces the chances of experiencing tooth decay. There are times the coating may become weak, exposing one to a variety of conditions. Babies, children, and adults are at high risk of experiencing tooth decay as a result of a weaker enamel. Fluoride is one mineral that plays a crucial role in strengthening this particular part of the teeth. Special procedures using products such as fluoride varnish that have a high concentration of the mineral keeps the enamel strong all the time.
Getting rid of bacteria from the teeth is also vital in keeping the enamel stronger. Common oral care practices and certain special treatments are essential when it comes to such. Prophy paste is one product that is widely used during dental cleaning. It helps in the removal of tough stains from the teeth to leave the surface all smooth. One thing parents should be aware of is that babies are at a high risk of experiencing tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay is the condition most infants are likely to encounter. It is a type of tooth decay infants or young children experience. This condition usually attacks the upper incisors but can spread to other teeth.
Causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Several factors have been linked to baby bottle tooth decay. One of the leading causes of this kind of this type of corrosion is when your baby comes into contact with sugar for a long while. This usually happens when you give you feed your infant with sugary foods or drinks. Some of these drinks include juice, milk, and other snacks. The other thing that may make them develop the condition is when you dip their pacifiers into sugary liquids.
Bacteria on their teeth break down sugar from their pacifiers or drinks they consume to produce an acid. The acid produced is responsible for the demineralization of the enamel, which brings about tooth decay in children. Some of the sugary drinks given to children may reduce the flow of saliva, which also puts them at high risk of getting tooth decay.
Tooth decay in infants can also come about as a result of bacteria transfer. Some people usually taste their young ones’ pacifiers at one time or the other. Mouth contact during such a period may lead to the transfer of saliva-containing bacteria, and this puts your infant at risk of experiencing tooth decay. Tooth decay in babies is usually characterized by the formation of stains on the teeth, swollen gums, and increased sensitivity. If untreated, they might develop severe problems like poor speech and crooked teeth. They will also develop poor eating habits, which affects their growth.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Babies
The following are the best ways to prevent the emergence of such conditions in infants.
Cleaning the Gums
Food tends to stick on your baby’s gums because their teeth are usually small and developing during such a period. Such food on their gums can harbor bacteria that trigger tooth decay. Cleaning their gums can prevent this. There are special ways to clean your infant’s gums. You can use a special cloth to do this. Wipe their gums immediately after feeding them to get rid of all the food that remains on their gums.
This type of checkup is also essential for infants. You should take them to a dentist who will examine their teeth to check for any potential problems. Look for a wonderful dental clinic where they will have the procedure done as required. A pediatric dentist is the right person to visit during such a scenario. They are trained to examine your infant’s teeth and check for any problems.
Prevent Bacteria Transfer
You should limit the transfer of bacteria to your baby’s mouth to reduce their chances of experiencing tooth decay. How you handle their pacifiers or other objects that come into contact with their mouth matters a lot. Avoid mouth contact with their pacifiers or milk bottles. You should also not wipe the same devices with your saliva. Kissing has also been linked to bacteria transfer from adults to infants. Be careful about how you handle your baby to reduce the chances of spreading bacteria that bring about tooth decay to them.
Limit Sugar Consumption
Go slow on the amount of sugar you give your child. We have seen how bacteria interact with sugar from the foods consumed to produce acid that can lead to tooth demineralization and decay. You should limit the amount of sugary foods and beverages you give your baby. Avoid dipping their pacifiers in sugar syrup, as this may also result in tooth decay.
The kind of diet you present to your baby also plays a crucial role in the well-being of their teeth. You should make sure their infant food is comprised of a healthy diet. Limit the amount of starch in the food you give them as this may trigger tooth decay due to bacteria action. Giving them a healthy diet is also essential for gum development.
You should start brushing your infant’s teeth as soon as they grow in. They are usually tiny and gentle during such a period, so you should do it in the best way to avoid exposing them to injuries. Use a small, soft brush or cleaning tool that will be gentle on their teeth. Look for oral care products that will not bring about sensitivity.
It is another essential practice to carry out on your baby’s teeth once they all grow in. This helps to get rid of dirt from the spaces in between their teeth that cannot be removed through brushing or some oral care procedures. Floss sticks are the best option compared to string floss in such a situation. Be careful of their gums as they are gentle and can get injured easily if this procedure is not done correctly.
Making sure your baby is getting enough fluoride also keeps them free from tooth decay. One of the best sources of fluoride is drinking water. You can replace the amount of juice you give them with fluoridated drinking water. If the water in your area has minimal contents of the mineral, then you should consult a pediatric dentist who will advise you on the right fluoride supplements to give your infant.
Clean their Milk Bottles and Pacifiers
Keeping your baby’s milk bottle and pacifier clean is also vital in preventing tooth decay. You could do this if the pacifier was dipped in sugar or the bottle contained any sugary liquid. Use clean warm water for this. Also, ensure that a pacifier or milk bottle with sugar content does not stay in your infant’s mouth for long.
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Tooth Decay Treatment in Infants
There are several instances this condition may escalate. This will require special treatment to restore the state of your baby’s teeth. Treatment procedures are similar to that of adults. Look for an excellent pediatric dentist to examine your toddler and carry out any procedures. Tooth removal is one practice they can carry out to get rid of stained teeth. They have the right tools and expertise to carry out this procedure.
Infants can develop new teeth after some time, so there is no need to worry. Dental crowns can also be used in the restoration of decayed teeth in infants. Dentists have the required expertise to ensure the procedure is carried out carefully without exposing your baby to any dangers. The method used may also depend on the level of maturity of your child or how comfortable they will be throughout the process. Tooth decay in babies should not worry you at all. You only need to take your responsibility as a parent to reduce the chances of such arising.