Proper Bottle Use and How to Keep Your Toddler’s Teeth Healthy
Many people falsely believe that baby teeth are not that important. They fall out eventually anyways to make room for adult teeth. But baby teeth are crucial to your child’s oral health. They act as place holders for adult teeth—helping them to come in properly and on time—and they help with learning to speak and chew properly.
One of the culprits for decay is improper or prolonged bottle feeding, but there are other offenders.
A bottle containing a sweetened beverage or fruit juice—even some infant formulas—can stick to your child’s teeth and erode the enamel, which may cause decay.
This is especially concerning at night because your child produces less saliva, and this allows bacteria, sugar and acid to stay on the teeth.
LN Dental recommends cleaning your child’s teeth with a soft cloth before bedtime and offering only water. If your child wakes for a bottle, wipe his or her teeth when the bottle is finished and offer only water after.
Soothers or Pacifiers
Soothers, also called pacifiers, may interrupt the growth of your child’s teeth or upper arch. Prolonged or extended use can even interfere with the way your child’s teeth erupt, causing misalignment.
Try offering a pacifier only at bedtime—removing it after your child falls asleep. And be sure to change the pacifier frequently and clean it daily.
LN Dental recommends weaning your child from pacifier use as soon as possible.
Keep Your Child’s Teeth Clean
Wipe your toddler’s teeth with a soft cloth after bottle feedings and before bed. We also recommend arranging an appointment with LN Dental shortly after the first tooth comes through. Your dentist can show you how to better clean your child’s teeth and help you start a brushing routine when the time is right.
We Encourage You to Arrange a Dental Visit for Your Child
We love treating children and welcome the opportunity to evaluate your toddler in our dental clinic.