Your toddler’s teeth are so cute — and it’s no surprise that they require special care. Are you putting your baby at risk of the condition known as baby bottle tooth decay? If you’re letting your child sleep with a bottle, or if you’re being lax on their brushing and flossing habits, the answer is yes. Your pediatric dentist in Thornton, CO has tips for protecting your little one’s smile, like frequent cleaning, limiting what you put in the bottle, and regular visits to Treasured Teeth.

#1: Watch What You Put in the Bottle

Filling bottles with sugary beverages increases the risk that your child will hold them in the mouth for longer, making their teeth far more vulnerable to baby bottle tooth decay. To avoid letting sugar and acids build up on your little one’s teeth, limit the bottle’s contents to milk, formula, or water. Even fruit juices should be avoided in the bottle, and sodas are a definite no-no.

#2: Supervise Bottle Time

To avoid baby bottle tooth decay, never put your baby to bed with a bottle, and do not allow them to use the bottle as a pacifier to stop crying. Both of these habits can cause the sugars in milk and formula to linger on the tooth enamel, putting his or her teeth at greater risk of decay.

#3: Develop Your Baby’s Dental Hygiene Habits

Before your little one even has any teeth, you should clean her gums with a warm, moist washcloth after feedings. And once teeth begin to erupt, you can clean them with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a rice-sized amount of toothpaste. Begin flossing as soon as teeth touch each other.

You should bring your baby in to see the children’s dentist in Thornton, CO around the time of his or her first birthday. During this visit, Dr. Tippets or Dr. Lacy will take a look to make sure your baby’s teeth are clean and healthy. You and your child’s dentist can also discuss your little one’s dental hygiene, including special considerations for avoiding baby bottle tooth decay, at length.

#4: Avoid the Spread of Saliva

Babies’ mouths do not contain the bacteria that causes tooth decay, but they can get it from you. Kissing your baby, blowing on her food, and sharing utensils introduces the bacteria into his or her mouth from your own saliva. And because the enamel on those first teeth is very soft, they are especially vulnerable to developing cavities.

Protect your child’s teeth by avoiding the spread of saliva and taking care of your own smile. Brush for two minutes, twice a day, and floss daily. Chewing sugar-free gum and maintaining good nutrition can also help to prevent you from harboring tooth decay bacteria at all.

When was your baby’s last visit to the dentist? If it has been more than six months, or if he or she is over age one and hasn’t yet begun regular visits, it’s time to get in touch with Treasured Teeth! Request an appointment with your friendly pediatric dentist today.