Palos Pediatric Dentistry

"Bottlemouth Syndrome" - What It Is and Why It Happens

Bottlemouth syndrome is a type of tooth decay that occurs in very young children typically during infancy and when they are toddlers. It is the result of exposure to sugary liquids such as juice, or even milk for long periods of time, usually carried around in a bottle or used at night or during naps. Bottlemouth syndrome usually leads to decay of baby teeth and may require complex dental care or even oral surgery for your child. Your Oak Lawn pediatric dentist explains how you can protect your child's oral health and prevent bottlemouth syndrome.

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Your child's gums and baby teeth are the foundation for the adult teeth that will arrive in later years. While these teeth may not seem as important since we know they will eventually fall out, this type of thinking couldn't be further from the truth. Baby teeth have a few critical jobs to do, and it's important to protect them from injury or decay. Here is what baby teeth help with:

  • Your child's developing speech patterns. Baby teeth actually help your infant turn those sweet sounds they've been making into their first words!
  • Navigating solid foods. Such an exciting time when your child gets to try solid foods for the first time! This would be a lot harder without the help of their baby teeth.
  • Holding space for adult teeth. Did you know that baby teeth are actually the guides that help adult teeth arrive into place properly?

Preventing Bottlemouth Syndrome

Developing good oral habits with your child early on will set them up for success in the future. Limit their consumption of milk and juices to meals and choose water for them to drink throughout the day.

Never send them to nap or bedtime with a bottle, even if it is filled with water. It is best not to develop the need for a bottle as a comfort item.

Visit your pediatric dental team at Palos Pediatric Dentistry regularly after your child's first teeth begin to erupt, or at least by the age of one year old. We'll be your partners in helping your child develop optimum oral health and good habits that will last a lifetime.

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