Bottle Decay

My Kidz Dentist

Pediatric Dentists located in Phoenix, AZ

Baby bottle tooth decay is a fairly common problem in children under the age of five, but it’s entirely preventable with help from your dentist. The team of pediatric dental experts at My Kidz Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona, has plenty of experience in treating bottle decay and looks forward to improving your child’s oral health. To learn more, schedule an appointment today by calling the office nearest you or booking a visit online.

Bottle Decay Q & A

What is bottle decay?

Bottle decay, or early childhood caries, is tooth decay that happens to infants and toddlers. It most commonly happens in the upper front teeth, but can occur in any of your child’s teeth.

Even though your child’s baby teeth aren’t permanent, it’s important to keep them healthy. Bottle decay can lead to infection, pain, and premature tooth loss, which can create a whole host of problems for your child.

Baby teeth are necessary for proper chewing and speaking, and they also act as placeholders for their permanent teeth, ensuring that they come in correctly. If your child loses their baby teeth too early, it could lead to their permanent teeth coming in misaligned, requiring costly orthodontic treatments to fix.

What causes bottle decay?

Bottle decay comes from prolonged exposure to liquids containing sugar, such as milk, formula, and fruit juice. This frequently happens when a baby is put to bed with a bottle, is given a bottle as a pacifier, or is given a pacifier that’s been dipped in sugar or syrup. It’s especially harmful to be exposed to these sugars at nap time or nighttime because your child’s saliva flow slows down when they sleep.

The naturally occurring bacteria in your child’s mouth feed on these sugars and make acids as a byproduct. These acids eat away at your child’s enamel, which is the hard, outer layer of their teeth, causing decay.

How do I know if my child has bottle decay?

Some of the warning signs of bottle decay include:

  • White, brown, or black spots on the tooth surface
  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Signs of infection such as fever, swelling, or irritability

If your child is showing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment immediately with the dental professionals at My Kidz Dentist.

How do you treat bottle decay?

The good news is that bottle decay is preventable and treatable, and the earlier your dentist catches it, the easier and less invasive the treatments will be. Your oral health professional at My Kidz Dentist works with you to devise a treatment plan to fight your child’s bottle decay. Less advanced stages of decay can be treated with fluoride, while more advanced decay might require restorative work like stainless steel crowns or extractions.

Some of the measures that you can take at home to prevent bottle decay include:

  • Don’t put your child to bed with a bottle
  • Reduce the acidic foods and juices in your baby’s diet
  • Avoid using a bottle or sippy cup as a pacifier
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup
  • Brush your child’s teeth as soon as they come in (discuss with your dentist when you can begin using toothpaste)

To learn more about how to prevent or to treat your child’s bottle decay, schedule an appointment with the talented team at My Kidz Dentist by calling the office nearest you or booking online.