Early Childhood Cavities

Sometimes called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, Early Childhood Cavities is a serious disease that can destroy your child's teeth – but it can be prevented.

What Causes Early Childhood Cavities?

  • Letting your baby fall asleep with a bottle. When your baby is asleep, the liquids that contain sugar stay around the teeth and can cause decay. Even breast milk and formula contain sugar.
  • Prolonged nursing with mother or allowing your baby to fall asleep while nursing.
  • Allowing your infant to walk around with a bottle.

Put your child to bed without a bottle ...

Your child can fall asleep without a bottle! Here are five tips to try:

  • Let your child take a "security" blanket, teddy bear, doll, or favorite toy to bed.
  • Quietly sing or play restful music.
  • Hold or rock your child.
  • Give your child a back rub to help him or her to relax.
  • Read or tell your child a story.

What are the Effects of Early Childhood Cavities?

  • Tooth loss
  • Ear and speech problems
  • Crooked permanent teeth
  • Severe pain
  • Poor self-image
  • Tooth decay

How can I prevent Early Childhood Cavities?

  • Get into the habit of putting your baby to bed without a bottle.
  • Never put the baby to bed with a bottle filled with formula, milk, juice, sugar water, or soda pop. If your baby must have a bottle to go to sleep, fill it with water.
  • Do not let your infant walk around with a bottle.
  • Start teaching your infant to use a cup between 6-12 months. Trade your baby's bottle for a training cup by age one.
  • Check with your doctor or dentist to make sure your child is getting enough fluoride each day.

Your child's healthy teeth and brilliant smile depend on you!

11/15/2010

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Here are some east ways to take care of your baby’s teeth and gums:

  • 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

How to care for your infant’s first teeth?

As soon as baby teeth erupt it’s important to start taking care of them. Try toothpaste formulated specially for your little ones.