Are you one of those new parents who bottle feeds their baby to sleep and is wondering what that milk is doing to your child new teeth? Or are you breast feeding your child and you are wondering if leaving milk in your child’s moth is affecting the oral health of your young one.
Much of tooth decay is a result of bacteria activity, the bacterial responsible for it is called Streptococcus mutans or S mutans for short. These bacteria are known to be the primary agent of dental caries. Some experts claim that S mutans are killed by breast milk. In other words, research has shown that breast milk protects your kid’s teeth and has antibacterial effects against Streptococcus.
For some kids, the process of getting the first teeth can be tedious. For some kids, teething begins when they are only 3 months old and for others deciduous teeth can appear when they are 15 months. As such there is no rush to wean your baby from night feeding. So, although breast milk contains some level of anti-bacteria it still also contains sugar that tends to make the oral environment an acidic environment with low PH values. Being in low PH environment for a prolonged period increases the risk of dental decay in those teeth.
Can milk bottle cause damage to baby teeth? Yes, it can and the consequence of decay in primary teeth is not only limited to the primary teeth. It can lead to damage to your kid’s permanent teeth.
If parents fail to take care of their baby’s teeth, their kids may experience having teeth that are not aligned properly. Other consequences can be a malformed permanent tooth in the child’s mouth or in some cases infection in the mouth.
Question is how can parents prevent or minimise decay in the milk teeth? The answer is to start the oral hygiene for kids from the beginning. At pure dentistry, our dentists in the upper mt Gravatt area recommend you to bring your kids to the dental practice from age of 1, 2 so that they become familiar with the dentist and dental hygiene.
There are certain points that can control excessive decay in kid’s teeth. Juices have a high sugar content, so if you keep your kids from drinking juices and keep the juice out of their bottle, it is an important step towards protecting kids’ teeth against tooth decay.
At age 1, you should try to start weaning off feeding your baby at night. The purpose is to minimise prolonged teeth exposure to sugary liquids.
When you find your baby fell sleep with their bottle in their mouth, try to remove the bottle from their mouth. You can try to remove residual milk with a very soft cloth to prevent bacteria build-ups.
To minimise exposure to S mutans, try not to kiss the baby on the lips and prevent saliva exchange because of wet kissing the baby face. Do not share cutleries with the babies. Do not allow the pacifier to be shared with others.
Baby teething is scary for some parents and uncomfortable for some kids. It shouldn’t be and the parents should raise their awareness of the process.
In babies, teeth bud from under their gums. As the teeth roots begin to grow, the pressure from the growing roots pushes the crown upwards and the crown breaks the gum tissue and erupts from the gum. When your baby is in this age give them something like a firm teether to chew on and it should be the right size so that it is not a choking hazard. It helps with breaking down the gum tissue as the crown is moving upwards.
Babies may experience a low-grade fever in their teething age. Parents should not disregard a fever above 38.3 C and should take their baby to see a physician. Sometimes fevers are the result of a dangerous infection. Dentists advise that teething does not usually cause diarrhea.
Our Dentists advise that you should avoid rubbing alcohol on babies’ gums. If you think that your babies are in pain when they are teething consult with your family dentist and see if you can use ibuprofen. Teething gels should be avoided because they are not safe for babies.
It is true that the baby teeth will eventually fall out but a decay in baby teeth makes them fall out earlier than a healthy tooth. The empty space will be a gap before the right permanent teeth can take shape and other permanent teeth may try to fill the gap which in turns results in the permanent tooth to erupt out of its correct place leading to misaligned row of teeth. Therefore, it is important to take care of the baby teeth even though they won’t last and the will fallout at some point. Talk to our dentist for further advise on baby teeth health.