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Children are more prone to carries.

Submitted: September 13, 2012

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Submitted: September 13, 2012



Early childhood carries is also known as baby bottle syndrome or baby bottle tooth decay. This occur in infants or toddlers usually on the labial surface of maxillary incisors (upper front teeth), but other teeth can also be affected. This is usually due to frequent and regular intake of sugary fluid, milk, soft drinks or juices. The more the sugar is exposed to the teeth; there are more chances for the bacteria to damage the teeth.

One of the most primary causes of early childhood carries is bottle feeding. A study has shown that children who had been bottle fed, had five times higher chances to develop early childhood carries as compare to the children who were breast fed. Saliva production decreases when the child fall asleep. Due to intake of milk or any sugary fluid bacteria in the mouth generates acids which cause decay of enamel and ultimately results in carries.

Because children with early childhood caries are at greater risk for subsequent caries development, aggressive preventive measures are necessary. Following steps should be taken to prevent nursing bottle syndrome depending on the age of your child:

  • Always wipe your baby teeth and gums with a clean wash cloth or gauze to remove plaque.
  • If your child is an infant don’t allow your baby to bottle feed during sleep.
  • If your child is 12 months old, encourage your child to use cup instead of bottle.
  • Limit your child intake of chocolates, sweets and sticky food.
  • Healthy food is also an important contributor for the development of teeth and gums. Children especially need calcium, which helps build strong teeth. Good sources of calcium are milk, cheese and yogurt. Research shows that eating cheese after meals seems to inhibit the effects of decay-causing acids. Avoid snacks containing sugar or starch.
  • Do not dip a pacifier in anything sweet like sugar or honey.
  • Use ADA recommended floss and fluoride containing toothpaste once your child tooth has erupted. Use pea size amount of toothpaste. Brush on inner, outer and chewing surface with a soft circular motion.
  • The use and consumption of fluoridated water is very effective in preventing childhood carries.
  • As soon as your child’s first teeth erupt visit to the dentist.

Prevention is better then cure. Your child can go through several difficulties once his/her teeth are affected by caries such as painful toothaches, local abscess, difficulty in eating and chewing, TMJ problem and loss of aesthetics. Once, deciduous teeth are extracted there may be a chances of crooked permanent teeth and poor tongue thrust. This could cause poor alignment of permanent teeth and future orthodontic and speech problems.

© Copyright 2018 DrShireen Nazir. All rights reserved.

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