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Toddlers tooth decay: cause and prevention

tooth decay

Is your baby suffering from multiple tooth decay? Or are you concern about such a situation? Well, the fact is, you have to be really cautious and should take extra care in protecting the child’s teeth. Yes, the truth is, newly erupted milk teeth are less immune and it can easily pay the way for bacterial invasion. 


However, What if I say, the way you feed your infant is a major culprit for developing early childhood caries! To your surprise, the way you feed your child will strongly influence the severe form of tooth decay. 


Reasons for Toddlers tooth decay:


Bottle feeding:


Bottle feeding will not hold control over the amount of milk being sucked by the baby. Moreover, sugary substances in the bottle milk will stay for a longer duration in the oral cavity and starts to demineralise the tooth structure


Feeding your baby for too many times in a day:


Excessive frequency of feeding could trigger early dental caries. It is advisable to feed your baby 7-9 times a day. Maybe the first month requires a little longer times, say for about 8-12 times. Otherwise, it is enough to feed your baby as per recommendation. 


Prolonged bottle/breastfeeding:


Like the frequency of feeding, the excessive duration will also affect the tooth structure. Prolonging the feeding time will make your child’s oral environment more favourable for the bacterial bloom. By doing so, you are unknowingly making your child suffer. 


Inappropriate feeding pattern:


It is very bad to make your child fall asleep while feeding. In case, you take it as a tool for napping your kid, then you are cultivating a bad practice. Falling asleep while feeding will not only encourages bacterial growth in the oral cavity but also it poses the risk of choking and death. 


Decreased salivary flow:


While sleeping, your child will have less amount of saliva to clear the liquids from the mouth. This reduces the oral PH and increases the risk of tooth decay  


Improper oral hygiene:


When you don’t care about your baby’s oral hygiene properly, you are making your baby’s little teeth to hurt. 


How early childhood tooth decay differ from adult decay?


In general, milk teeth are soft and immature than adult teeth. Bacteria can widespread rapidly, that are of burrowing type in milk teeth. This can involve pulp very easily and gives tooth pain and abscess. In most instance, tooth decay will completely erode your baby’s tooth structure and making it difficult to eat and chew properly. Meantime, your baby may deprive of adequate nutrient. 


How to prevent the infant’s tooth decay?:


From birth, your child should hold in a position while feeding

It is necessary to burp your infant after feeding. If he/she falls asleep, make sure to burp before sleep

Give a sip of water after every diet. This helps to neutralise the PH

Start brushing as soon as the first tooth erupts in the oral cavity

Decrease the excessive frequency of feeding time and increase appropriate oral hygiene regime

Start weaning approximately from the sixth month onwards. Starting a semi-solid diet will help to reduce caries activity

Stop nursing approximately at the 12 months of age. Slowly shifting to a solid diet will add more nutritious value and improves digestive function. 

See the dentist if you see a black spot on your child’s teeth. It is better to prevent the caries progression at the early stage and preserve the natural teeth. 


Protecting milk teeth is significantly important to provide a nutritious diet for your child’s growing phase of life. Also, milk teeth position and condition will determine the health of your child’s permanent teeth. Handle with care, so that your child would not have to suffer later. 

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