Can baby teeth get cavities?
Impact of milk/formula/juice/soft drinks on baby’s teeth. If a baby is put to bed with milk/formula/juice or soft drink, then natural or artificial sugar from these drinks can cling to teeth for a long time. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and it will make acids that attack the teeth. Babies who are breastfed to sleep are also at risk of cavities.
Normally known at nursing bottle caries or baby bottle caries can happen to babies as young as 1 year old. It mainly affects top front teeth. As usually, sweetened liquids will pool around these teeth and at night there isn’t much saliva in the mouth to wash these teeth.
Why is it important to look after baby teeth – Aren’t they going to fall out anyways?
1. Proper chewing and eating. Baby teeth are very important for developing a healthy and nutritious diet for children.
2. Providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position. If baby molars are removed prematurely than adult molars can take its place and teeth that usually erupt in that place, will have no space -resulting in crowding of teeth.
3. Stimulating normal development of the facial bones and muscles.
4. Development of normal speech. Baby teeth play important role in speech and phonetics of a child. If front teeth are absent from very young age, kids can develop a lisp which is very difficult to correct later on.
5. Your child’s appearance and confidence! Even at early age, kids are very conscious of their looks and sometimes little remark from other kids or adults can break kids confidence at school.
6. Avoid pain ,chronic infection and abscess as it can affect general health and development of your baby.
How to Look After Your Baby’s Teeth
1. Don’t put baby to sleep with bottle.
2. Start cleaning their gums even before teeth starts to come through with clean wet muslin cloth.
3. Clean your baby’s teeth with pea size amount of baby tooth paste and baby tooth brush morning and night from 18 months of age.
4. Water and plain milk are the best drink for your baby (12 months and over) and toddler. Please don’t give any juice or soft drinks to your baby.
5. Healthy and nutritious diet for your baby when they start eating solids.
6. Take your baby to dentist every 6 months from age of 2.
Dr Jahnavi Shah was born and raised in India in a family with core values of philanthropy. Dr Shah has very strong medical background. Her father is a physician and now does volunteer work in a rural hospital in India. With passion to do best quality dental work Jahnavi graduated in 2004 and moved to Australia in 2006 with Dr Jay Shah to further their studies.