blue eyed baby boy with a toothbrush in his mouth

Tooth Decay in Infants: Causes, Prevention & Early Care

Published December 13, 2023 7:03 pm

Parenthood comes with many joys and responsibilities. But one aspect that demands constant attention is your child’s oral health. Tooth decay in infants is a common concern, but with proper understanding, preventive measures, and early care, you can ensure your little one’s smile stays bright and healthy.

Common Causes of Tooth Decay in Infants

Tooth decay in infants, often known as baby bottle tooth decay, occurs when sweetened liquids or those with natural sugars linger on the baby’s teeth for an extended period. This can happen during naptime or bedtime with a bottle containing milk, formula, or fruit juice.

Another common cause of tooth decay in infants is by spoon feeding, testing their food, or cleaning off their pacifier in your mouth instead of water, as bacteria is easily passed this way.

Decay Prevention Starts Early

Preventing tooth decay in infants begins with establishing good oral hygiene habits from the start.

Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle containing anything other than water. Introduce a sippy cup around six months of age and limit sugary drinks. Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings to remove residual sugars. As teeth emerge, start brushing with a soft infant toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste.

Nutrition also plays a pivotal role in preventing tooth decay in infants. Opt for a balanced diet that supports oral health, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and dairy products!

Early Dental Care

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first dental visit should occur by their first birthday. Early dental care allows the dentist to assess oral development, provide guidance on proper oral hygiene practices, and address any concerns or questions you may have.

Children’s Dentistry in Gypsum, CO

Tooth decay in infants is a common but preventable concern. By understanding the causes, implementing preventive measures, and seeking dental care for children, you can ensure your child’s journey to a healthy and beautiful smile starts on the right track!

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