Early Childhood Tooth Decay
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Several specific types of bacteria that live on the teeth cause decay. When sugar is consumed, the bacteria use the sugar and then manufacture acids that dissolve the teeth and cause an infection in the tooth. This infection is called decay.
What Is Early Childhood Tooth Decay?
Children that typically consume sugary drinks such as milk, formula, juice, sports drinks, or soda are more likely to get tooth decay. Because the sugar in the liquid stays in contact with the teeth for a long time, teeth can decay quickly.
Some Tips To Avoid Early Childhood Tooth 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 using a bottle by 12 to 14 months at the latest.
- Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in honey or sugar.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride helps make teeth strong and prevents tooth decay. If Dr. Wilkerson feels that your child is at an increase risk for decay she may provide you with prescription toothpaste that will increase your child’s chances of preventing decay.