Baby bottle tooth decay, also known as early childhood caries or nursing bottle caries, is a condition in which a baby's primary teeth get cavities. While there may be a few different causes for the condition, it is important to know how to prevent and treat the condition to keep your baby happy and healthy. If you are looking for an expert in family dentistry in Camarillo, CA, consider Dr. Michael McCarthy.
What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
The main cause of baby bottle tooth decay in infants is exposure to sugary drinks, such as fruit juice or soda. Another common cause is putting your baby to sleep with a bottle, or letting them teethe on a bottle when fussy. This is because having any liquid other than water on your baby's teeth for long periods of time can lead to decay, including formula and breast milk. In less common cases, bacteria from the caregiver's mouth can be passed down to the baby through salivae, such as on a spoon or pacifier. As a result, your baby may experience tooth pain and discomfort in their mouth, infection if left untreated, or even damage to their permanent teeth.
Signs And Symptoms
The best way to catch baby bottle decay early is to bring your baby to a pediatric dentist or office for family dentistry in Camarillo, CA, when their teeth first begin to emerge. This is because it can be hard to identify early signs of baby bottle decay without proper equipment due to the small size of infants' teeth. In some cases, caregivers may notice white spots on their child's teeth or signs of decay along the gum line, which may indicate it is time to see a dentist.
When To Seek Help
While it might sound scary, baby bottle decay can be prevented and treated with help from a professional, such as your pediatrician or family dentist in Camarillo, CA. For questions or to make an appointment today, please call Dr. McCarthy at (805) 482-3214.