Nursing Bottle Caries also known as baby bottle tooth decay affect toddlers from 8 months to 5 years of age.
As the name suggests, the teeth of babies get decayed as they sleep with bottles filled with any sweetened liquid (milk/formula/juices/sweetened pacifiers) in their mouth for a prolonged period of time specially at night. Other than water all kinds of liquid and milk can cause decay. Even breastmilk can cause a risk of caries.
The bacteria in the baby's oral cavity break down the sugar present on the tooth surface into acid which attacks the enamel of the tooth leading to cavity formation.
The enamel layer of baby teeth being thinner than adult teeth are more susceptible to decay.
During the day, saliva washes out the sugars and bacteria in the mouth but during the night time or naptime the saliva production is less and also the baby swallows less allowing the bacteria to harbour in the oral cavity.
Signs and Symptoms:
-Decay in the upper front teeth and molar teeth. ( Lower front teeth are usually not affected)
-White spots or brownish discolouration of teeth.
-Pain or discomfort during chewing food.
-sensitivity of teeth.
-Do not let the baby sleep with a bottle in their mouth.
-Do not give sugary foods to the baby near nap time.
-Wipe the gum/teeth of the baby with clean wet gauze or cloth before bed time.
-Visit your dentist on your baby's every birthday to ensure cavity free teeth.