- May 9, 2016
Every parent wants to give their child the best life they can. Whether it’s ensuring that they get the right toys for the holidays, eat right, or get all the love they need to grow into healthy, happy adults it’s not even a question.
But what about their early oral health? A lot of children suffer from an easily preventable condition called nursing bottle syndrome, or NBS, that’s often overlooked. Children under the age of five that develop cavities can have oral health problems for the rest of their lives – don’t let your young ones start off with such a severe disadvantage!
What Is Nursing Bottle Syndrome?
When your child drinks from a bottle most of the liquid passes over their front teeth and makes very little contact with the back. NBS presents as tooth decay on those most visible teeth, and it can cause decay so severe that the teeth simply rot away.
Believe it or not, most of the stuff your child drinks contains sugar. Formula, milk, and juice are all tooth decay culprits, especially in bottles. It’s easy to give your child a bottle and leave them to it, which is where most of the risk comes from.
Children who are left with bottles containing juice, milk, or formula can quickly develop cavities, especially if they fall asleep with a bottle. Liquids that sit in the mouth are able to do even more damage as oral bacteria feeds of the sugar, producing tooth-eroding acid that erodes the teeth with incredibly efficiency.
If you’re guilty of leaving your child to enjoy a bottle for longer than 20 minutes then there’s a good chance you’re setting them up for early childhood cavities!
Fighting Nursing Bottle Syndrome
For new parents it can be hard to make dental care decisions. There’s so much about your baby’s health that you need to consider that their teeth can quickly take a backburner to other needed health procedures. Statistics have shown that children who receive early dental care are far more likely to have healthy mouths as adults, so don’t let them go without the necessary pediatric dental care we can provide at our Shorewood office!
If you’re wondering what you can do to combat NBS you’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy these steps are. You may already be doing everything right, and if you aren’t it’s a simple set of solutions to get there!
- Make sure your child doesn’t get to hang on to their bottle for more than 20 minutes.
- Never let your child fall asleep with their bottle. If they do wipe their mouth out.
- Children generally eat three times a day like adults, and between meals they don’t need anything to drink besides water. If you want to give them a bottle between meals just give them that – it’s perfectly safe for their teeth!
- Keep an eye on your child’s teeth to be sure there aren’t any chalky white spots, yellow patches, or brown stains. All of those can be early signs of decay.
- Wean your child off their bottle between 12 and 14 months. They can generally move to a spill-proof cup at that point.
Those steps can help prevent the development of NBS, but you need to do more than just that to maintain your child’s oral health. The American Academy Of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children start seeing the dentist by the time they turn one, or whenever their first tooth comes in. Bringing your child to see us at Shorewood Family Dental Care when their first tooth comes in can ensure that they’re healthy for years to come!
Do You Really Need To Worry About Decay In Baby Teeth?
Your child’s first set of teeth establish their dental future. They’re incredibly important when it comes to maintaining space for their adult teeth, and early loss of a baby tooth can have a profound impact on the alignment of the teeth that follow it.
A baby tooth that is lost early can lead to crooked teeth, crowding, and even a tooth that breaks through above the rest of them. So the answer is, yes, baby teeth are very important! Make sure that your child is set up for dental success by ensuring they get the care they need!
Protect Their Teeth, Starting Now!
If your child is coming up on their first birthday it’s time to think about making an appointment. Even if you haven’t brought them to the dentist and they’re older we still want to see them. Getting care now can change their entire lives.