Early Childhood Caries – food and drinks

Family dentistry

Can a baby or a toddler really get dental caries, decayed teeth? Can someone so young need to get fillings in a tooth… or even lose teeth because they are so extremely decayed?

Unfortunately, your friendly dentist at the Dentist Epping will say yes to all of this, but this same friendly dentist will also tell you that this can be prevented! Your babies and grandbabies can avoid having tooth decay if some steps are followed!

For the first part of this you minimise the baby’s first teeth and gums having lengthy or frequent contact with sweetened liquids.

Right from the start develop a sleep-time routine that does not use the breast, formula or a bottle of flavoured milks, soft drinks or cordials for putting your baby or toddler to sleep.

Little babies need to be fed during the night, of course, but once your baby is 12 months old, it is better to avoid frequent night-time bottle feeding or breast-feeding. Baby formula and breast milk are both very sweet because of the natural sugars they contain.

If your baby really craves sucking something while going to sleep, fill a bottle with plain water alone to avoid bathing your baby’s teeth in sugary liquids for hours at a time. You can also pat the baby or toddler – or the mattress he or she is sleeping on, if your calming presence is desired.

If your baby likes to use a dummy (pacifier) never dip it into something sweet like honey, jam or a fruit syrup, or condensed milk, or anything else sweet. Those things will all coat your baby’s teeth and gums in sugars and just sit there.

In general, it is best to avoid sugary foods for your older baby and toddler, and not let them get into the habit of grazing throughout the day. That way again, you minimise the number of times when food sugars can collect around the child’s teeth and gums.

Your friendly dentist at Dentist Epping will be very happy with your child’s teeth when you follow these steps – and your child will be far less likely to need to visit the Dentist Epping to deal with any early childhood caries.