Having a baby is an exciting time in a parent’s life. But with that excitement comes a number of decisions that can also cause anxiety: Which car seat is the best? Is it okay for my child to use a pacifier? Which bottles are better for my child? Thankfully, there are many resources at your fingertips to help you make those decisions.
When considering all of your options, it’s also important to consider the effects that pacifiers, sippy cups, and baby bottles can have on your child’s oral and physical health. Many times, by the time a child sees a dentist, the damage has already been done.
To learn more about children’s preventative dental care, call our Manhasset, NY, pediatric dental office today at (516) 365-4-KID to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimmy.
Are Pacifiers Bad For My Child?
It isn’t typically an issue that your child sucks his thumb or uses a pacifier in the first few years of life. However, prolonged use of a pacifier after permanent teeth have begun developing can contribute to dental problems. Long-term sucking can cause dental misalignment, as well as a misshapen upper palate, and upper and lower jaw.
Years ago, parents and nannies calmed a fussy baby by sticking a pacifier in honey or sugar water before placing it in the baby’s mouth. Still common today, this old trick can lead to tooth decay. Also, avoid using your saliva to clean off a dirty pacifier. Sharing your saliva with your baby can also cause the early development of tooth decay by spreading germs.
How Sippy Cups and Baby Bottles Cause Tooth Decay
Sippy cups and bottles are not bad for your children. It’s what you put inside them and how they are used that can cause dental damage. Sippy cups and baby bottles are linked to “baby bottle tooth decay.” This condition develops when babies and toddlers under the age of five have frequently been put to bed with a bottle or sippy cup. When your child’s teeth are exposed to too much sugar and acidity over an extended period, bacteria feed on the sugars and cause tooth decay.
Baby bottle tooth decay can be prevented with just a few simple steps:
- Avoid putting your child to bed with a baby bottle or sippy cup.
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a washcloth after each feeding.
- Avoid giving your children juice (or other sugary drinks) in a sippy cup or baby bottle until they are six months old. Limit juice intake to no more than six ounces per day.
- Avoid putting sugar water or soft drinks in sippy cups and baby bottles.
- Fill a sippy cup with water, rather than juice or milk, to drink on throughout the day.
- As soon as your child develops teeth, begin brushing and flossing regularly.
- Schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as your child develops teeth.
Call Dr. Kimmy Today
Call our Manhasset, NY, pediatric dental office today at (516) 365-4-KID to schedule your child’s appointment. The early detection of tooth decay and dental misalignment can help your child have good, long-term oral health.Leave a reply →