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Baby bottle syndrome is a form of tooth decay that occurs when babies feed from bottles and don’t receive essential dental care at home or from a pediatric dentist. A Renton pediatric dentist can provide your child with crucial dental care, and can help you as a parent to care for the dental hygiene of your child.

Causes of Baby Bottle Syndrome

Baby bottle syndrome is caused by the buildup of harmful bacteria in the mouth that can lead to tooth decay. This bacteria buildup results from sweetened liquids or liquids with natural sugar, such as milk, formula, and fruit juice, which cling to the baby’s teeth for a prolonged period of time. The sugar feeds the bacteria, which then create harmful acids that can erode and decay the teeth. Baby bottle syndrome primarily affects the upper front teeth, but can affect other teeth as well.

Prevention of Baby Bottle Syndrome

You can prevent baby bottle syndrome by following a few simple steps. First, clean your baby’s gums with a soft, damp washcloth after every feeding. This will remove harmful bacteria and sugars from the gums. Next, begin brushing your child’s teeth with a baby toothbrush and baby toothpaste as soon as his first tooth comes in. Once your baby gets his first tooth, or reaches the age of one, he should begin visiting a pediatric dentist every six months. The pediatric dentist may recommend preventative pediatric dentistry, such as dental sealants or fluoride treatments, to prevent tooth decay and dental cavities. You should also avoid leaving your baby with anything other than water in his bottle.

Treatment Options for Baby Bottle Syndrome

Your baby’s pediatric dentist or family dentist can diagnose and treat baby bottle syndrome. This treatment will depend upon your child’s age, and the severity of his tooth decay. If your child’s pediatric dentist notices early warning signs of tooth decay, he will treat your child’s teeth with fluoride to prevent further decay. If tooth decay is severe, your child may suffer from tooth loss.