Ans. A type of tooth decay, which is seen in babies is called nursing bottle caries or nursing bottle syndrome or nursing caries ,or early childhood caries. It generally occurs in infants and very young children.
Nursing bottle caries is caused by frequent and continued consumption of sweeten drinks like milk, formula, fruit juices that are given to children particularly at the bed time or nap time or if they have a tendency of falling asleep with nursing bottle. During sleep saliva production in the mouth is reduced and this increase the chances of tooth decay. The sugar reacts with the bacteria in the mouth, and forms acid, which causes tooth demineralization.
When baby nurses milk from feeding bottle, the liquid gathers on the outer surface of upper teeth and inner surface of lower teeth. Therefore, demineralization starts with these teeth. Decay starts with white chalk like spot, which later turns brown in colour. It appears along with the gum line. Upper front teeth, are typically affected first.
Prevention is the only remedy for this type of tooth decay. Avoid night time breast-feeding after the first tooth erupts. Do not give the pacifier coated with sugar to the baby. Avoid bottle feed at sleep time. Always clean the gums and teeth of baby after feeding. You can use soft cotton for the same.
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