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Baby bottle tooth decay: symptoms and prevention

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Baby bottle tooth decay is a destructive process of baby teeth in babies and children that develops due to the excessive proliferation of bacteria. How to recognize this disease? What to do to prevent it?

Baby bottle tooth decay is a tooth decay that appears on the milk teeth of nursing or bottle-fed children. It is a problem that can have serious consequences if it is not monitored.

Therefore, this time we want to detail what this problem consists of, how to recognize it and what measures to take to reduce risks.

What is baby tooth decay?

 baby tooth decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is a destructive process of the tooth. It occurs because the bacteria that are normally found in the mouth begin to grow more and more, using as food the sugars and other food remains that accumulate on the teeth.

This type of caries is so called because it affects the baby’s first baby teeth, when the baby is nursing or bottle-fed. It can also affect children up to 4 or 5 years old.

Why does it occur?

When a baby is continuously exposed to liquids rich in sugars such as milk, fruit juices, smoothies or soft drinks, these sugars accumulate around the teeth and gums.

In general, many bacteria are found naturally in our mouths. These bacteria, due to an accumulation of sugars around the tooth, also settle on it and begin to feed on both the sugars and the enamel and the dental structure. This causes the tooth, little by little, to be destroyed.

Babies who are most at risk for this type of cavities are those who remain exposed to these sugary liquids the longest. For example, babies who fall asleep drink a bottle, or those who’s dummy are dipped in one of these liquids and keeps it in their mouth for a long time.

Also, the longer the gums and teeth go unlearned, the more likely it is that cavities will develop, as we give bacteria more time to act.

Symptoms and consequences of baby bottle tooth decay

It is very important to be alert to the appearance of any symptoms, however small, since the delay in diagnosis and treatment will make the consequences more serious.

The first symptom that appears is small white spots on the teeth. These spots will darken, become yellowish and then brown or black. Apart from these spots, a bad smell in the mouth or pain of the affected parts may appear.

When caries progresses, it can cause the tooth to fall out. Even if they are baby teeth, the final dentition can be affected too. This can lead to problems with talking or chewing, for example, when all teeth are finished.

How is baby bottle tooth decay prevented?

The most important thing to prevent cavities is, of course, good hygiene of the baby’s mouth:

  • While baby has no teeth, massage baby’s gums daily with a clean, damp cloth.
  • As soon as baby teeth start to appear, it is advisable to start brushing them twice a day, with a soft toothbrush and the amount of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice.
  • Avoid those things that we have discussed that will increase the risk of cavities, such as the child falling asleep with a bottle, dipping the pacifier in sugary liquids, etc.
  • Also maintain proper hygiene of the mouth of the bottle and pacifier.
  • It is recommended that the baby begin his check- ups at the dentist when the teeth begin to erupt.
  • As always, a good control of all these factors, and going quickly to the specialist as soon as symptoms appear, is essential to avoid complicating the situation.

How to care for baby’s navel

 The navel is that circle that we all have in the abdomen, although each one has a different and own shape. It is actually a scar that forms after cutting the umbilical cord. This cord is the one that unites the baby with the mother during pregnancy.

The umbilical cord allows both nutrients and gases to be exchanged between mother and baby throughout the pregnancy. In other words, it is the area that truly unites the mother with her child.

Shortly after birth, the umbilical cord is cut to free the fetus. However, it is not cut just at the level of the abdomen, but rather a few centimeters free that take a few days to detach. In the end, the cord falls off on its own, leaving the baby’s navel.

Many mothers are concerned about this, since the baby’s navel, in those first moments of life, needs certain care to heal properly. Otherwise, you are at risk of infection. Therefore, in this article we explain how to care for the baby’s navel.

How do you take care of a baby’s navel?

As we have already mentioned, the navel is a scar that is formed by cutting the baby’s umbilical cord. Therefore, it is a delicate area, since there is a risk that it will become infected. It is essential to pay attention to it and maintain it with proper hygiene.

The first days, if the baby and the mother have been admitted to the hospital, the nurses will probably be in charge of taking care of them. However, the most frequent thing is that everything happens normally and it is the mother who should carry out the care.

First, it is very important to wash your hands thoroughly before touching this area. Our hands are a great focus of germs, so this is one of the inescapable steps to follow.

Once you have washed properly, you can start the cure. The truth is that, although other disinfecting liquids, such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, have been used for years, it is not necessary. The cure should be done with soap and water.

The procedure

To do this, you can use sterile gauze. Clean the navel with the gauze impregnated in water and a little neutral soap. Afterward, you should allow the area to air out and dry out a bit. A few seconds pass is enough. The air favors the healing process of the navel.

It should be noted that at least one cure must be performed per day. In the event that the baby is stained, this washing should be repeated. Also, covering the navel is not recommended. In doing so, it is essential to ensure that the area is previously dry.

When are other products used?

It has long been recommended to use antibiotic creams or disinfectants to treat the navel area. This was thought to reduce the risk of infection. However, this has been found not to be the case.

In fact, these products made it take longer for the umbilical cord to detach. Therefore, antibiotic and antiseptic creams are only used when there is already an infection or the risk is very high. For example, in areas where there are no good hygiene conditions.

What are the risks for the baby’s navel?

As it is a healing process, the baby’s navel is exposed to infections. Therefore, it is important to follow the steps mentioned. In addition, it must be borne in mind that this risk exists in order to distinguish the symptoms and treat them in time.

When the navel becomes infected, it may appear red or swollen. Even the baby can have a fever. Another sign of infection is blood appearing in the area, or some type of foul-smelling discharge.

If any of these signs appear, you must go to the pediatrician to see the navel correctly. The same occurs if the cord does not detach on its own in the first 12 to 15 days after delivery.

The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

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The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

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