Early Childhood Cavities

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What Causes Tooth Decay

Several specific types of bacteria that live on the teeth can cause decay. When sugar is consumed, the bacteria use the sugar to manufacture acids that dissolve the teeth and cause an infection in the tooth. This infection is called decay.

Four things are necessary for cavities to form — a tooth, bacteria, sugars (or other carbohydrates) and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When you eat, the sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.

Tips for Cavity Prevention

Put your child to bed with a bottle of plain water, not milk or juice.

Stop nursing when your child is asleep or has stopped sucking on the bottle.

Try not to let your child walk around using a bottle of milk or juice as a pacifier.

Start to teach your child to drink from a cup at about six months of age.

Plan to stop bottle use by 12 to 14 months, at the latest.

Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in honey or sugar.

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What is Baby Bottle Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding and /or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural selfcleansing action of the mouth is diminished.

 

What is Baby Bottle Decay

 

Put your child to bed with a bottle of plain water, not milk or juice.

Stop nursing when your child is asleep or has stopped sucking on the bottle.

Try not to let your child walk around using a bottle of milk or juice as a pacifier.

Start to teach your child to drink from a cup at about six months of age.

Plan to stop bottle use by 12 to 14 months, at the latest.

Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in honey or sugar.

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