There are a lot of reasons why it's not a good idea to put a baby to bed with a bottle. A baby can get accidentally aspirate the liquid into their lungs when they attempt to drink from the bottle while lying flat. Drinking a bottle in the bed also increases the chances that your baby will get an ear infection. It also puts your baby at risk for developing what's known as baby bottle tooth decay. Learn about decay in this article so you understand the risks, symptoms and possible complications.
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
This type of decay is a condition a baby can develop in which their newly developing teeth become infected and even rotted. This can lead to their teeth coming in poorly, possibly discolored from damage, crooked and with a variety of other problems. If their baby teeth are affected from this condition, it can also cause their adult teeth to come in damaged.
What causes the condition?
As the name suggests, many times the condition is caused from a baby being put to bed with their bottle. However, there are also other ways your baby can develop tooth decay. Anything that exposes your baby's teeth to sugar for a good period of time can also cause it. This is why it's also not advised to dip your baby's pacifier in something sweet. You should also try to hold off on introducing your baby to juice and only give it to them once in a while once they start drinking it.
How can you help prevent your baby from developing it?
The first thing you want to do to prevent your baby from developing tooth decay is to cut out bad habits like giving them a bottle in bed, putting anything on their pacifier or giving them too many sweet drinks.
You should also clean your baby's teeth after they eat by using a moist piece of gauze to wipe their gums. Start brushing their teeth as soon as the first one makes its appearance. Ask your child's dentist if they would suggest extra fluoride for your baby.
Now that you have a better understanding at the importance of keeping your baby's teeth healthy, you can increase the odds that their adult teeth will come in strong and healthy. Make sure you talk to a pediatric dentist about anything else you can do to help their teeth along the way.