What Causes Tooth Decay?
Several types of bacteria living on the teeth cause decay. The most common bacteria associated with dental decay are Mutans Streptococci. When sugar is consumed, the bacteria metabolize the sugar and produce acids which demineralize the teeth and cause infection/decay.
What is Early Childhood Caries or baby bottle tooth decay?
Early Childhood Caries or baby bottle tooth decay is a very serious condition in which a child’s primary teeth decay very early due to prolonged feeding with a bottle or from the breast. When the sugar in formula, milk and juice stays in contact with the teeth while the child sleeps, the teeth decay quickly, often seeming to erupt with decay.
How to prevent Early Childhood Caries:
- Put your child to bed with water, not milk or juice.
- Stop nursing when your child is asleep or has stopped feeding on the bottle/breast.
- Don’t substitute a bottle of milk or juice for a pacifier.
- Teach your child to drink from a cup at about 6 months of age. Plan to stop using a bottle by 12 to 14 months of age.
- Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in honey or sugar.