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Bottle or early age caries

Bottle caries is a common oral disease in infants and early childhood children. A problem that can be aggravated to the point of losing baby teeth and causing inconvenience for the birth of the definitive. Prevention and immediate attention to the first symptoms is essential.


What is bottle caries?

It is an infectious tooth decay caused by bacteria that destroy the tooth and spreads with great speed. The remains of foods or sweets that contain liquids such as milk and juices accumulate in the teeth. Bacteria feed on these wastes, so they cause demineralization of the tooth.


What are the symptoms of tooth decay at an early age?

The decay of the early age can appear with the first tooth of the baby and reaches up to children of 5 and 6 years. The first sign is the appearance of white spots on the teeth, which change color over time. The next step will be the partial destruction or loss of the tooth, which can cause severe pain and infection.


Main causes

Oral health depends on good hygiene at all stages of life. The absence or inadequate hygiene in gums and teeth of the smallest is one of the main reasons for caries of the bottle.


Frequent contact of primary teeth with sugars is another of the most identified causes. Especially, in those children who sleep with their bottle or use it as a pacifier. The same happens when the pacifier or bottle is used to take certain products during the night.


Bacteria that cause infection are transmitted from adults to children with the exchange of saliva. This usually happens when spoons are shared or adults take the pacifier of babies at some point in their mouths.

How to prevent bottle decay?

Prevention basically goes through good eating and hygiene habits. Some advices:


Clean the gums of babies with a wet gauze after taking milk.

Clean the teeth of the little ones twice a day, important brushing before bedtime.

Control the amount of toothpaste, which does not exceed the size of a grain of rice.

Encourage children not to sleep with the bottle or with the pacifier.

Clean daily the accessories that the child brings to the mouth.

Do not use bottles for juices or other drinks, especially if they are sugary.

Dr. Armellini received her dental degree from the Central University of Venezuela. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a clinical fellowship in Implantology Prosthodontics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.


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