Breast milk, baby formula, cow’s milk and fruit juice ALL contain sugar. Since sugar contributes to tooth decay, it can be a problem, especially when it’s time to sleep.
Baby Teeth Decay
Up to 4 years old
To reduce the incidence of tooth decay, it is best, at bedtime, to give a bottle of water only. If you are breastfeeding, remove your child before he falls asleep.
Stopping sweet liquids can be difficult so here are some tips:
- Gradually dilute the milk with water until the content of the bottle is only water.
- If your child refuses it, give him a clean pacifier, a stuffed toy or a blanket.
- If your child cries, don’t give up. Comfort your child and try again.
What to watch for
Once your child has teeth, check them every month. Look out for stains or dull white lines on the teeth along the gums. Also watch for discoloured dark teeth. If you see any of these signs, make an appointment with your dentist right away. Cavities in young children must be treated quickly, otherwise they could experience pain and develop an infection.
Should we repair or pull out a baby tooth with cavities?
Many parents wonder if it is worth repairing a primary tooth that is about to fall. Valid question to which we will answer.
Some baby teeth don’t fall out until your child is 12 years old. However, a repair is sometimes unavoidable before they fall. Broken and infected teeth can affect your child’s health and self-confidence. To make a filling, the dentist removes the decay and adds a material to fill the cavity. A filling is often an easy way to remedy a problem that otherwise could cause pain and become very expensive.
If the tooth is not filled and the cavity grows, the tooth might have to be pulled. If that is the case, your child might need to wear a spacer to leave room for the permanent tooth to erupt. It is important to realise that losing prematurely a milk tooth will likely create the migration of nearby teeth. This migration will prevent the normal eruption of permanent teeth.