The Affordable Dentists in Houston, Texas

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

02-01-2017

By: Katriena Knights, from Colgate.

This is also known as "early childhood caries", a common problem among children under the age of five, but can be avoided through awareness and prevention. If your child does begin to show symptoms, your dentist can provide treatment for baby bottle tooth decay. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the decay. As with most health issues, the earlier the problem is addressed, the less extensive and invasive the treatment will be.

Treatment for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Treatment varies based on your child's age and the severity of the condition. At the earliest signs of a problem, you and your child's dentist can work together to formulate an approach to management and treatment.

White spots on a tooth's surface are early symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. At this stage, fluoride treatment or placing fluoride varnish can be used to remineralize all of the teeth. This treatment actually reverses decay in its earliest stages by helping to rebuild the surface enamel. Your child's dentist might also recommend fluoride supplements. At this stage, you can also make changes to your baby's diet to keep decay from progressing. These changes could include:

Limiting acidic foods

Limiting juices, especially citrus juices

Substituting water for juice, formula or milk in your child's bottle

These changes should always be made in coordination with your child's pediatrician and/or pediatric dentist. Depending on your child's age, overall health and nutritional needs, some dietary changes could be undesirable.

If decay is spotted at later stages, fluoride treatments will no longer be sufficient. Symptoms of more severe decay include:

Brown or black spots on the teeth

Bleeding or swollen gums

Fever, swelling or irritability, which could indicate infection

Bad breath

If your child shows any of these symptoms, it's imperative to see a dentist as soon as possible. If decay spreads, your child could face extensive restoration treatments and even tooth loss.

If your child's tooth decay is severe, your dentist might suggest sedation or even general anesthesia for extensive restoration work, depending upon your child's age and maturity level. In very severe cases, teeth might even need to be extracted. This is more likely to be necessary if the tooth is infected or has decayed so extensively that it cannot be restored.

Bad hygiene habits could follow your child into adolescence and adulthood. The best way to ensure ongoing dental health as your child matures is to be sure that he or she learns good oral hygiene from the beginning.

The best approach to baby bottle tooth decay is prevention. If your child does experience early childhood dental caries, you and your child's dentist can work together to determine the best treatment options.

Tips

Before teeth have erupted, clean your baby’s gums and the teeth by rubbing a clean, damp washcloth along the baby's upper and lower gums

When your baby has teeth, start brushing your baby’s at least two to three times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water.

UNICARE Dental Center use the latest technology. Our experienced staff works together as a team to give you exceptional quality treatment from the time you walk in for your initial visit. Schedule your appointment now at: 713 995 4000





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