Can Bottle Feeding Lead to Tooth Decay in Your Baby?

When I was a child I had a few traumatic experiences at the dentist and continued to carry fear and anxiety through adulthood. When I became a parent I wanted to be proactive with my boy’s dental hygiene and do everything in my power to prevent trauma to them, so I was brushing their gums and taking them to regular checkups at our pediatric dentist by the age of one.

I am excited to have Dr. Nanna Ariaban from Polka Dot Pediatric Dentist back for another informative post on preventing tooth decay in babies.

happy mother feeds the baby bottle

My baby is already showing signs of tooth decay. Can this be caused by what some people call “baby bottle tooth decay”?

With full schedules as parents these days, it is tempting to let your baby fall asleep with a bottle in its mouth each night, but this is not really a good idea when it comes to preventing cavities.

Fact Number 1: Baby teeth are not permanent teeth.

Fact Number 2: Baby teeth should be cared for as if they were permanent teeth.

Fact Number 3: Tooth decay in babies beginning at the age of TWO is on the rise.

Is it really possible for babies to get cavities where you will need to seek a general dentistry for children to have the cavities filled? Yes—and baby bottle tooth decay is among one of the biggest reasons. More parents opt for bottle feeding over breast feeding due to time restraints, social pressure, health reasons, and convenience. Because of this, babies and young children will be more likely to develop tooth decay, but it can be easily prevented.

Let’s address the facts above. Fact number 1: Baby teeth are not permanent teeth; therefore, many parents will overlook proper oral hygiene practices because they feel their permanent teeth will be coming in later anyway, and the problem will be solved. It doesn’t quite work like that. Healthy baby teeth and gums will help set the foundation for healthy permanent teeth.

Fact Number 2 will ensure your baby will not suffer from tooth decay, as it can be painful. Adults brush after every meal; so should babies. After bottle feeding, wipe the gums clean with wet sanitary gauze or a clean, damp cloth to prepare them for when they begin cutting teeth. The same rule should apply to breast feeding. Until your child can be taught not to swallow toothpaste around the age of 3, you can either begin gently brushing their teeth with water or wiping them clean after feedings. This will substantially cut down on bacterial growth that can cause tooth decay.

Fact number 3 is due to the fact that parents should not allow babies to fall asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth. This upsets the natural pH balance of the baby’s saliva due to pooling milk or juice that is not being swallowed or diluted by saliva. The sugars in the milk or juice create acid which leads to cavities. Breast feeding allows a baby to complete the process of swallowing the milk. When the baby goes to sleep, saliva will begin to naturally dilute the sugars from the milk, resulting in less tooth decay.

This is not to say that breast feeding is better than bottle feeding because breast milk can be pumped into a bottle for greater convenience. In an effort to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, it’s always best to remove the bottle from the baby’s mouth once they drift off to sleep. A children’s dentist can be your best guide on how to prevent tooth decay in your child. They should begin visiting a general dentistry for children at the age of one. Dr. Nanna Ariaban of Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry in Alpharetta says, “Tooth decay in young children can lead to severe pain, infection and tooth loss.” This is easily avoided.

To prevent cavities in children, begin seeing a pediatric dentist on your child’s first birthday, take time to wipe clean their gums and teeth before, during, and after they cut their teeth, and don’t allow them to fall asleep with a baby bottle in their mouth.

Polkadot-Dental-logo

Dr. Nanna Ariaban of Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry is a board certified pediatric dentist in Alpharetta Ga, who serves children in other nearby cities including Johns Creeks and Roswell. To learn more Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry or Dr. Nanna Ariaban visit polkadotdental.com website or call (678) 389-6669.

Dr-Nanna-Ariaban-1

Dr. Nanna Ariaban is a Board Certified Children’s Dentist in Alpharetta, Georgia. Her busy pediatric practice consists of providing dental health care to infants, adolescents, teens, and to children of special needs. Dr. Nanna (as called by her patients) has additional training in administering oral sedation to patients in her office, and also provides extensive dental treatment at hospital facilities.

She is a graduate from the following Universities: University of Maryland: Bachelor of Science Degree in Neurobiology and Physiology; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine: Doctorate of Dental Medicine; and she attended the University of Illinois-Chicago to become a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist. Dr. Nanna is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Georgia Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.

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Advanced Pediatric Technology: Why Settle for Less?

When it comes to dental work for your kids, you may cringe at the thought of having them go through this invasive experience. Advances in technology, pediatric dental service and a family-centered care approach have made these experiences less traumatic for everyone involved.

I am happy to introduce a Dr. Randy Pagenkopf from Smiles By Randy, who is using a new type of technology to help their patients with dental procedures.

Dr.Randy

When dealing with your child’s dental visits, it can be a stressful time for both you and your little one, even more so for those children with special needs. But, it doesn’t have to be. Finding a pediatric dentist who specializes in advanced pediatric technology is the key to your child’s successful and exciting dental experience.

A pediatric dentist has taken their education to another level, one that specializes in the specific needs of children, so you don’t have to settle for anything less than amazing when it comes to their dental health!

No More Pain? No Problem!

What exactly is advanced pediatric technology? Those three little words hold a lot of weight when it comes to a tear and pain free dental procedure. As adults, we know all about those kinds of visits. Many people don’t fully realize the advances made in our dental field and just accept that their child may experience some form of mild pain when having a procedure done. With advanced pediatric technology, such as Waterlase, that’s no longer the case. No shots. Not drills. No fear. Simple as that.

Dental restorations using Waterlase technology means precision filling and doing away with scary drills and painful numbing shots. What kid wouldn’t be happy about that? I’m wondering if my adult dentist can measure up?

1024px-Mother_Kissing_Baby

Also, Waterlase technology lessens the need for anesthetics, which is a scary thought in itself. But the benefits don’t stop there. How many new moms have felt and endured the pain of their newborn baby having a frenum attachment abnormality? It is stressful to both you, and your baby. With Waterlase, your child’s frenectomy doesn’t involve tissue trauma, like older methods did. The procedure takes 3-5 minutes and their healing time has been cut in half. What’s even better? Your child is able to eat as normal right after the frenectomy is complete.

When You Know Better, You Do Better, Right?

We always want better for our kids then what we had, so taking your child, especially those with special needs, to the dentist should be an experience that develops happy memories and a sense of security.

A pediatric dentist can help eliminate your child’s fear and anxiety of scary drills and painful shots by developing a lasting relationship that specializes in their needs.

~ Dr. Randy Pagenkopf

To learn more about Waterlase and Dr. Randy Pagenkopf check out Smiles By Randy. Follow on Facebook and Google+

They are located at:

757A Long Point Rd

Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

843.971.6221

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Is Thumb Sucking Harmful to my Baby’s Teeth?

Little baby soothing her itchy gums by putting her thumb and hand in her mouth

Today I am excited to feature a guest blog post from Dr. Nanna Ariaban from Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry. She has a wonderful topic that many of us can relate to when parenting little ones. Thumb sucking, or in my son’s case pacifier addiction, is a topic that we often discuss with other parents but could benefit from additional professional advice.

Is Thumb Sucking Harmful to my Baby’s Teeth?

Should I be concerned that my baby’s teeth will be affected by thumb-sucking?

While it is perfectly normal for babies to suck their thumbs, it could become problematic as he or she begins to develop permanent teeth, and could lead to dental and jaw alignment problems. Should you be concerned about this early on, or at what point should you be concerned about trying to stop your baby from sucking its thumb?

Thumb sucking occurs in approximately eighty percent of infants and children. In fact, babies will generally begin to suck their thumbs while in the womb. After they are borne, they will suckle their fists, fingers, binky’s, passies, and toys. They do this for a number of reasons:

  • Emotional comfort
  • Teething
  • Security
  • Natural tendency
  • Habit

Child and infant thumb sucking can offer comfort to your child, and most children will eventually outgrow this on their own as they get older. But in some cases, some children will have difficulty letting go because it has become much like a security blanket to them. “If they don’t outgrow the habit on their own, certain problems can begin develop such as malocclusion (abnormal tooth alignment), and upper and lower jaw development can be compromised, as well,” says Dr. Nanna Ariaban of Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry. Children can also develop an overbite or buck teeth due to thumb sucking teeth damage when their teeth are being constantly pushed out while the thumb is in their mouth; especially in the case of aggressive thumb sucking as they begin to grow their permanent teeth.

Your child can also develop speech problems and find it difficult to articulate certain words because his or her teeth or jaws are not aligning properly, and this will ultimately lead to permanent damage if not corrected in time. If your child is exhibiting this type behavior, it’s best to speak with a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist can give you the kind of advice you need when it comes to asking questions about an anti-thumb sucking device or other ways to stop baby from sucking its thumb. If your child has also gotten into the habit of nail biting, the dentist can offer advice to how to stop this habit from becoming permanent, as well.

There are measures parents can take to help children to break the habit such as thumb sucking guards, putting gloves or socks on the child’s hands at night, purchasing a leather thumb guard, or a washable rubber thumb guard. Thumb guards for children can be found at your babies dentist office or online on the Internet, but for safety reasons, it’s always best to check with a knowledgeable dentist just to be on the safe side and to check which method is more age-appropriate for your particular case.

Overall, there is really not much need to worry about your child sucking his or her thumb while they are infants and into early childhood, as they will eventually outgrow the habit on their own. Although damage to proper jaw growth and alignment begins throughout their early development years, once they reach the stage of losing their primary teeth, and their permanent teeth begin to come in, if they are still in the habit of sucking their thumb, they are at greater risk for endangering their permanent teeth.

Polkadot-Dental-logo

Dr. Nanna Ariaban of Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry is a board certified pediatric dentist in Alpharetta Ga, who serves children in other nearby cities including Johns Creeks and Roswell. To learn more Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry or Dr. Nanna Ariaban visit polkadotdental.com website or call (678) 389-6669.

Dr-Nanna-Ariaban-1

Dr. Nanna Ariaban is a Board Certified Children’s Dentist in Alpharetta, Georgia. Her busy pediatric practice consists of providing dental health care to infants, adolescents, teens, and to children of special needs. Dr. Nanna (as called by her patients) has additional training in administering oral sedation to patients in her office, and also provides extensive dental treatment at hospital facilities.

She is a graduate from the following Universities: University of Maryland: Bachelor of Science Degree in Neurobiology and Physiology; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine: Doctorate of Dental Medicine; and she attended the University of Illinois-Chicago to become a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist. Dr. Nanna is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Georgia Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Southeastern Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.

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