a risk to milk teeth
The so-called “baby bottle tooth decay” is a special risk for milk teeth. It occurs if the baby bottle is not only used for drinking, but used constantly during the day to satisfy sucking habits and used instead of a pacifier. Especially beverages containing sugar cause caries and can destroy the teeth within a few weeks when consuming constantly. These beverages pool around the teeth and encourage the acid formation and the development of bacteria. The upper incisors are particularly affected by this damage because they are not– unlike the teeth in the lower jaw - partly protected by the tongue.
A lot of children from the age of two years are affected by caries. The main cause are beverages containing sugar (teas, fruit juices, lemonades) which are frequently offered to children in baby bottles for continuous sucking. This is the initiation of the upper incisors´ destruction. Over time, this drinking habit will lead to a complete destruction of all milk teeth. When drinking sweet beverages, this process will even be accelerated, as the fruit acid affects rapidly the tooth enamel and cause so-called erosion damages.
Even if the baby bottle is filled with sugar-free beverages like tea or diluted fruit juice, caries will be favoured. These beverages dilute the saliva, wash it away constantly and therefore hinder the natural protection of the teeth. Additionally, the fruit acid of the juices destroy the milk teeth.
- Don´t provide your children with baby bottles to satisfy their sucking habits.
- Quench your child´s thirst with water or sugar-free tea.
- A feeding cup is only a temporary alternative to a “normal cup”.
- Children learn to drink from a “normal cup” at the age of 10 to 12 months.
- Don´t let your child drink milk or sweetened beverages after brushing the teeth and bevor going to bed. Water is a perfect thirst quencher.