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Baby Bottle Tooth

Some useful tips to prevent baby bottle tooth decay include:

During the day, to calm or comfort your baby, don’t give a bottle filled with sugary liquids or milk; instead, give plain water or substitute a pacifier. At anytime, don’t dip your baby’s pacifier in sugar, honey, or any sugary liquid. At bedtime, don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with sugary liquids (watered-down fruit juice or milk still increases the risk of decay). Give plain water. Don’t allow your baby to nurse continuously throughout the night while sleeping, since breast milk can cause decay. Use a pacifier or give your baby a bottle filled with plain water instead.

Don’t add sugar to your child’s food

Use a wet cloth or gauze to wipe your child’s teeth and gums after each feeding. This helps remove any bacteria-forming plaque and excess sugar that have built up on the teeth and gums. Ask your dentist about your baby’s fluoride needs. If your drinking water is not fluoridated, fluoride supplements or fluoride treatments may be needed. Teach your baby to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday. Moving to a “sippy cup” reduces the teeth’s exposure to sugars; however, constant sipping from the cup can still result in decay unless it is filled with plain water.

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Thumb Sucking

Generally, it’s normal and healthy for infants to suck their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, or toys. Object sucking gives children a sense of emotional security and comfort. However, if thumb sucking continues beyond the age of 5 – when the permanent teeth begin to come in – dental problems may occur. Depending on the frequency, intensity and duration of the sucking, the teeth can be pushed out of alignment, causing them to protrude and create an overbite. The child may also have difficulty with the correct pronunciation of words. In addition, the upper and lower jaws can become misaligned and the roof of the mouth might become malformed.

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