Author Archive

preventing baby bottle tooth decay

Understanding and Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Written by b2b on . Posted in Uncategorized

Many parents, particularly new parents, may not realize the risks of tooth decay in their children. Tooth decay is one of the single most widespread diseases among children – it’s five times more common than asthma and over 15 times more common than diabetes, for instance.

At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, our pediatric dental services include a full range of preventive areas designed to keep your child from the risks of tooth decay, from cleanings to X-rays and much more. One particular type of tooth decay that many parents aren’t aware of is called baby bottle tooth decay – let’s look at what this is and how you can prevent it from happening to your infant.

preventing baby bottle tooth decay

Basics and Signs

Baby bottle tooth decay is a form of tooth decay that happens to infants who use bottles, as the name suggests. It’s caused by prolonged exposure to high-sugar drinks in the bottle, and is known to primarily impact the upper front teeth – the ones that are closest to the bottle and tend to come into contact with it the most.

In most cases, the first visible symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay is white spots that begin to appear on the surface of the teeth or gum line. Your infant may also show some tooth sensitivity and pain in the area. If the condition is allowed to advance, you may also notice brown or black spots on the teeth, bleeding or swollen gums, bad breath, and even a fever. Any of these latter symptoms should cause you to seek dental care right away.

Prevention Tips

In most cases, however, you can avoid baby bottle tooth decay by taking a few simple precautions. These include:

  • Bottles and bed: For some parents, sending the baby to bed with a bottle of milk is a nightly ritual. But unfortunately, milk is high in sugar content, and leaving them with unlimited access to it raises their risk of exposure to this sugar. This same thing can be said for juice and bed, though there are some juice brands that at least limit their sugar content. If your child needs a bottle for sleep, we recommend using water only.
  • Cleaning: Even if your child does not have teeth that have grown in yet, wipe their gums off with a clean cloth after each meal to remove and lasting sugar.
  • First tooth: When your child does get their first tooth, brush it and all others gently with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Limit other exposure to sugar, both in drinks and in foods consumed by the child.

For more on how to prevent the risks of baby bottle tooth decay, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.

avoidance areas child oral health

Understated Avoidance Areas for Child Oral Health

Written by b2b on . Posted in Uncategorized

As a parent, chances are you’re already locked into a good oral health routine for your child. Things like brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and avoiding too many high-sugar foods are fairly well-known elements here.

At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, our dentists are here to help you promote and enhance these basic habits, but also to show you a few advanced areas where you can really put your child on the right track to a lifetime of oral health. Much of this comes back to avoidance – particularly for younger children, avoiding certain foods or habits can be enormously beneficial as this becomes the standard routine once they get older. Let’s look at a few practical avoidance areas to begin teaching them now.
avoidance areas child oral health

Fruit Issues

Let’s be clear up front: Fruit is generally a fantastic food group for children and really all humans, with tons of excellent nutrients for the body when served in traditional forms. When we talk about fruit issues relative to oral health, we’re really talking about two specific forms of fruit packaging:

  • Dried fruit: Dried fruit does have many of the same nutrients as standard fruit, but without much of the water or fiber that come in natural fruit formats. On top of this, dried fruit is much stickier than other forms, meaning it often remains on teeth and gums and attracts bacteria long after the meal or snack has ended. This, in turn, can cause tooth decay and cavity issues.
  • Jam-preserved fruit: Another fruit format is pieces packed in jam or syrup, which unfortunately are loaded up with tons of additional sugar. Also, like dried fruit, these products tend to lack the tooth-cleaning fiber that makes normal fruit so beneficial. You’re better off looking to traditional fruit formats instead.

Sweet Beverages

Most parents are generally good at limiting sweet foods for their children, but we can sometimes forget about sweet drinks as well. Many popular sodas, juices, sport drinks and others have huge amounts of extra sugar in them, which can damage tooth enamel and risk decay and cavities. Instead, we recommend water or flavored water add-ons that are healthy for teeth.

Ice Chewing

Whatever drinks you do serve your child, try to avoid accompanying them with ice. Children may enjoy chewing on it, but it can crack or chip their teeth. Plus, over time, chewing ice regularly wears down tooth enamel and makes cavities more likely.

Starches and Bread

We know you likely won’t be able to completely eliminate things like bread from your child’s diet, but finding ways to limit starches in general is beneficial. Starches are broken down into sugar by the mouth’s saliva glands, and they may become sticky and stay in the gums or the cracks of teeth, opening up the risk of decay. When you do serve starchy foods, have your child rinse their mouth our or brush their teeth afterward.

For more on understated avoidance areas for your child’s oral health, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.

South Jordan Location
2651 West 10400 South
Suite 103
South Jordan, UT 84095
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
Tooele Location
1959 Aaron Drive
Suite E
Tooele, UT 84074