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How Do I Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?


Some tips to prevent baby bottle tooth decay include:


During the day, to calm or comfort your baby, don't give a bottle filled with sugary liquids or milk; instead, give plain water or substitute a pacifier.


At anytime, don't dip your baby's pacifier in sugar, honey, or any sugary liquid.


At bedtime, don't put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with sugary liquids (watered-down fruit juice or milk still increases the risk of decay). Give plain water.


Don't allow your baby to nurse continuously throughout the night while sleeping, since human breast milk can cause decay. Use a pacifier or give a bottle filled with plain water instead.


Don't add sugar to your child's food


Use a wet cloth or gauze to wipe your child's teeth and gums after each feeding. This helps remove any bacteria-forming plaque and excess sugar that have built up on the teeth and gums.


Ask your dentist about your baby's fluoride needs. If your drinking water is not fluoridated, fluoride supplements or fluoride treatments may be needed.


Teach your baby to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday. Moving to a "sippy cup" reduces the teeth's exposure to sugars; however, constant sipping from the cup can still result in decay unless it is filled with plain water.


If brushing teeth becomes a hassle, try out these tips suggested by most odontologist.


INFANTS: Toothbrushing should begin as soon as the first teeth appear. Brush daily with a soft bristle toothbrush for babies. Sit your baby on your lap, facing outwards, when brushing their teeth. Try to sit in front of a mirror so your child can see what is happening. Use a small, pea-sized, amount of toothpaste. Allow your child to spit the toothpaste out after brushing. Do not rinse. Avoid fluoride toothpaste until your child reaches the age of two. You may try Baby Orajel tooth & Gum Cleanser ($4 - $5).


TOODLERS: A toothbrush with a handle with a favorite character may help your child to negotiate a well brushing time. Children can be allowed to brush their own teeth, with adult supervision, from the age of two. Reward children - but not with sweets! - for brushing well. Let your little one tries himself. You may try a toothbrush like Reach Soft- Bristled Toothbrush or Ultradent Starbrush.  Oral-B, Aquafresh or Colgate toothbrush are alternatives to try as well ($2 and up). You may try some organic-natural nonabrasive new toothpaste if you believe it suites your needs.


PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN:  By the time children reach five years old, they should have acquired good oral hygiene and brush teeth at least twice a day. By this age you may try battery operated toothbrush, they are fun, safe and with all the favorite characters out there, for sure your kid will love toothbrush time. Fun options can be Colgate Motion Kid and Crest SpinBrush Kids ($6 and up).




                               OTHER TIPS ON KEEPING HEALTHY TEETH




  • Children can brush their teeth without supervision from the age of seven onwards. Flossing is not recommended until a child has all their permanent teeth. This is usually around the age of 12.




  • It is natural for children to have a 'sweet tooth' but sugary snacks should be kept to a minimum. Restricting sweets and cakes to mealtimes helps to reduce the teeth's exposure to sugar. For children over the age of 6, chewing sugar-free gum after meals is recommended, as it stimulates the production of saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize plaque acid and prevent tooth decay.




  • Fizzy drinks and acidic fruit juices can erode the enamel of your child's teeth and should be avoided. Milk and water are the safest drinks for teeth. Sweet drinks and fruit juices should not be used in a baby or toddler's feeding bottle, as this prolongs the exposure of the teeth to the sugary substances.

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