Baby Bottle Syndrome or Early Childhood Caries is the rapid decay of baby teeth in an infant or child from frequent exposure, for long periods of time, to liquids containing sugars. The upper front teeth are most commonly affected. The problem is usually caused by a baby falling asleep while nursing a bottle or while breast feeding. While the child is asleep, the sugary liquid pools around the front teeth. The bacteria living in every baby's mouth then turns the sugars to acid which causes tooth decay. Common sources of liquids high in sugars are a bottle containing formula, milk, soda, or juice, a pacifier dipped in honey and breast milk.
You can help prevent Baby Bottle Syndrome/Early Childhood Caries by cleaning your child's teeth daily, not allowing them to fall asleep with a bottle or sip on a bottle for long periods of time filled with juice, milk, or formula. It is also important to not use a bottle as a pacifier. Be sure to give your child plain water when he or she is thirsty and make sure they get the fluoride needed to prevent tooth decay. Regular dental appointments, beginning from when their first tooth erupts, are an important factor in helping your child with a good oral health. We would be happy to provide you with more information which can improve the care of your child's teeth and minimize the negative affects on their oral health.
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