Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
You can help prevent your baby from getting cavities or developing what is called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries, by beginning an oral hygiene routine within the first few days after birth. Start by cleaning your baby’s mouth by wiping the gums with a clean gauze pad. This helps removes plaque that can harm erupting teeth. When your child’s teeth begin to come in, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. For bottle feedings, place only formula, milk or breast milk inside and avoid using sugary beverages such as juice or soda. Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed.
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child’s permanent tooth. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to take your child to the dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Here are some tips if your child experiences a common dental emergency:
For a knocked-out tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your child’s cheek and gum, or in milk. Call your dentist right away.
For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
If your child bites his tongue or lip, clean the area gently and apply a cold compress.
For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.