Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What is Dental Plaque?

Your teeth are covered with a sticky film called plaque that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria, which following a meal or snack containing sugar can release acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in cavities. Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. This makes it more difficult to keep your teeth clean.
When tartar collects above the gum line, the gum tissue can become swollen and may bleed easily. This is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. You can prevent plaque buildup and keep your teeth cavity-free by regularly visiting the dentist, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with dental floss daily.
This article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/p/plaque.aspx

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mothers Teach Their Small Children Oral Habits!

The British Dental Health Foundation believes a new study showing how a mother's knowledge is key to their child's oral health is a timely reminder of how important their early years are.
The study3 concluded that mothers who were more able to handle stresses in their environment had children with better oral health. According to the research, mothers with higher maternal factors when their child was three years old resulted in a better oral hygiene for their child, more visits to the dentist and more preventive treatments.

The research speculated that mothers with better maternal instincts are more attentive to the oral hygiene and dental needs of their children, leading to a reduced risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

The early years of children's lives are a time of rapid development, none more so than their teeth. Even prior to entering pre-school, a child's learning and understanding is largely based on experiences from within their family and home environment. That is why Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, believes the study reinforces the importance of ensuring good oral health for your child as early as possible.

Dr Carter said: "The study builds on previous work that suggests mothers have a key role to play when it comes to the development of their child's oral hygiene. What mums should remember is that looking after your baby's oral health starts during pregnancy.

"Good nutrition for the mother during those nine months is crucial for your baby's teeth to develop correctly. It is also worth knowing that due to hormonal changes your gums may bleed more easily, so the Foundation advises more regular visits to the dentist and a higher level of oral health.

"It is not just a child's mum who can help their oral health. The responsibility to improve oral health lies with each and every one of us. Poor dental health is constantly being linked with a variety of diseases, while too many people do not visit their dentist as often as recommended.

"If we can reach out to the non-attenders and encourage them to follow the Foundation's three key messages, of brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cutting down how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visiting the dentist regularly there is no reason the oral health of the nation and future generations cannot improve even more."

The study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, analysed data from a long-term study involving the dental records of 224 teenagers and questionnaires from their mothers.
Article taken from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/251936.php

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thumbsucking Habit Information

Thumbsucking is a natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world. Young children may also suck to soothe themselves and help them fall asleep.
However, after the permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. Pacifiers can affect the teeth essentially the same ways as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it is often an easier habit to break. The intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may result. If children rest their thumbs passively in their mouths, they are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. Some aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby (primary) teeth.
Children usually stop sucking between the ages of two and four years old, or by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumbsucking consult your dentist.

Tips for helping your child stop thumbsucking:

  • Praise your child for not sucking.
  • Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
  • For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.
  • Your dentist can offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.
If the above tips don’t work, remind the child of their habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night. Your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe a bitter medication to coat the thumb or the use of a mouth appliance.
Article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/thumbsucking.aspx

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Different Causes of Tooth Loss

If you don’t take care of your teeth, they will simply just go away.
Tooth loss is normal with baby teeth, where at some point in a child’s life, a tooth becomes lose and then falls off, but is later replaced by an adult tooth. Otherwise loosing a tooth is unfavourable and if it happens with adult teeth, it’s the result of injury, tooth decay or periodontal disease.
Decades ago it was considered normal to lose your teeth as you grew old. But if you have missing teeth, you lose the ability to chew on food and stay healthy. Nowadays there are methods to replace missing teeth, or to care for your oral health in order to keep your teeth forever.

What causes tooth loss?

There are many reasons why you might lose a tooth. Understanding those causes might help you be aware of your mouth’s health state and prevent problems that contribute to tooth loss.
Poor oral hygiene If you don’t brush and floss daily, cavities and gum disease can occur, making tooth loss more likely to happen in the future. Dentists recommend to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss at least once a day. It is also advisable to visit your dentist every six months for a check-ups and cleanings.
Poor nutrition Foods that contain a lot of sugar, carbohydrates and acids can damage your teeth and gums. Such diets initiate tooth decay.
Poor habits Tooth grinding (bruxism) uses up your teeth over the years and make them shorter. People who grind strongly can also fracture their teeth. Smoking or chewing tobacco can aggravate gum disease that leads to tooth loss.
Contact sports Some kids, teenagers or young adults play contact sports regularly. These include football, hockey, basketball, martial arts and so on. Wearing a mouth guard is very important to prevent trauma that can fracture of injure a tooth.
Fear Some people are afraid of dentist and never consult one, even if they have a tooth ache. Not consulting for a problem in your mouth can worsen the condition over time and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Finances Many people assume that dental treatments are too expensive. Sometimes they are, but other times there are alternative treatments that are less costly. Put also in mind that prevention costs less than treatment.
Article taken from: http://www.studiodentaire.com/articles/en/causes-consequences-of-tooth-loss.php

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mouthguards Add Protection!

Imagine what it would be like if you suddenly lost one or two of your front teeth. Smiling, talking, eating—everything would suddenly be affected.
Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Knowing how to prevent injuries like these is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities.
When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouthguard. While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, you can experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

There are three types of mouthguards: 

  • Custom-fitted. These are made by your dentist for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions, but because they are customized, usually offer the best fit.
  • Stock. These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
  • Boil and bite. These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.
The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-fitted mouthguard, you should still wear a stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite mouthguard from the drugstore. If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.
A properly fitted mouthguard may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouthguard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, limiting the risk of soft tissue injuries.
Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about selecting a mouthguard that will provide the best protection. Although mouthguards typically only cover the upper teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you use a mouthguard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth too.
If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.

Some tips for caring for your mouthguard:

  • rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste
  • occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse thoroughly
  • transport the mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents
  • never leave the mouthguard in the sun or in hot water
  • check for wear and tear to see if it needs replacing
This article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouthguards.aspx

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gum Disease and your Heart

Take care of your gums...help your heart?
The American Heart Association published a Statement in April 2012 supporting an association between gum disease and heart disease. The article noted that current scientific data do not indicate if regular brushing and flossing or treatment of gum disease will decrease the incidence, rate or severity of the narrowing of the arteries (called atherosclerosis) that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. However, many studies show an as-yet-unexplained association between gum disease and several serious health conditions, including heart disease, even after adjusting for common risk factors.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. The ADA and MouthHealthy believe that the most important thing you can do to avoid gum disease and maintain good oral health (including prevention of tooth decay or cavities) is:

  • Brush teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral examinations and professional cleanings.
This article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/h/heart-disease-and-oral-health.aspx

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Answers to Dental X Rays

Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping your dentist detect damage and disease not visible during a regular dental exam. How often X-rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. For example, children may require X-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults. Your dentist will review your history, examine your mouth and then decide whether or not you need X-rays.
If you are a new patient, the dentist may recommend X-rays to determine the present status of your oral health and have a baseline to help identify changes that may occur later. A new set of X-rays may be needed to help your dentist detect any new cavities, determine the status of your gum health or evaluate the growth and development of your teeth. If a previous dentist has any radiographs of you, your new dentist may ask you for copies of them. Ask both dentists to help you with forwarding your X-rays.
Dental X-ray exams are safe; however, they do require very low levels of radiation exposure, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. Dental X-ray tools and techniques are designed to limit the body's exposure to radiation and every precaution is taken to ensure that radiation exposure is As Low As Reasonable Achievable (the ALARA principle). A leaded apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and should be used when any dental radiograph is taken. Also, a leaded thyroid collar can protect the thyroid from radiation, and should also be used whenever possible. The use of a leaded thyroid collar is recommended for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children.
If you are pregnant, tell your dentist. During your pregnancy, you may need to have X-rays taken as part of your treatment plan for a dental disease. Use of the leaded apron and thyroid collar will protect you and your fetus from radiation exposure. Dental X-rays do not need to be delayed if you are trying to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
This article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/x.aspx

Monday, October 15, 2012

Environment More Significant on Mouth Than Genes

Environment is shown to play a much more significant role in the mouth's microbial set up than genes.
The human mouth is a community bustling with microorganisms that live there. Little knowledge exists about what factors control which types that live there and which don't. In a new study published in Genome Research, investigators have discovered environment has a more controlling stance on determining oral microbiota, an extremely important finding in the field of oral health.

The oral microbiome starts forming as soon as a person is born. We see a plethora of bacteria brought into our mouth during childhood and as an adult, although little knowledge is known about whether nature (genes), or nurture (environment) has a more powerful influence.

Due to differences in the oral microbiome in health and diseases such as bacteremia and endicarditis, there is a need for a better understanding of the factors that effect oral microbiota communities, in order for more efficient prevention and treatment plans.

During this study, the researchers sequenced the microbial DNA found in saliva samples of a group of twins, and then paired the DNA sequences in a database to see which types of bacteria existed in each individual.

Comparing the salivary microbiomes of identical twins with the same genetic make-up and a common environment, the scientists found that their salivary microbiomes were not notably more similar than those of fraternal twins who only share half the genes. Surprisingly, this finding points to the idea that genetic relatedness is not such an important role.

"We were also intrigued to see that the microbiota of twin pairs becomes less similar once they moved apart from each other," added Simone Stahringer, first author of the study.

It was also seen from samples over time that the salivary microbiome changed the most during adolescence, suggesting behavioral changes or puberty may have a significant influence.

The researchers also uncovered another surprising find, that there is a fundamental community of bacteria that exists in all humans.

Ken Krauter, senior author of the study, explains:

"Though there are definitely differences among different people, there is a relatively high degree of sharing similar microbial species in all human mouths."

The authors believe that this study has provided a framework for future studies of the factors that control oral microbial communities. With this knowledge, people can now better understand how oral hygiene, environmental subjection to substances, methamphetamines, and even food can impact these microbes.
This article taken from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251417.php

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Diet and Oral Health

Cut the sugar, grab the milk!

Each time you eat a snack containing sugar or starch (carbohydrates), the resulting acid attack on your teeth can last up to 20 minutes, and a lot of snacks and drinks contain sugar. How much sugar? A single can of pop contains up to 10 teaspoons of sugar, and if you think that natural sugar (like the sugar in raisins or other fruit) is better for your teeth it’s not. Sugar is sugar, and the average Canadian consumes over 40 kilograms of sugar each year! Click here for a list of how much sugar your favorite snack might contain.

How can you defeat the sugar bug?

Beat the Clock - foods that are eaten during a meal usually pose less of a threat to teeth because of the additional saliva produced during mealtime eating. Saliva helps to wash food particles from your mouth and lessen the damage from acid.

Brush & floss those teeth - toothbrushing is important, and you should brush twice a day. Did you know that if you don’t floss, you miss cleaning up to 35% of each tooth? If you’re not sure how to floss, just ask your dentist.

Stock up on Dairy Products - yogurt and cheese, milk and milk products contain things that are good for your teeth. Everything that’s made from milk is a good source of calcium - an essential nutrient for the development of bones and teeth. Some scientific studies have shown that eating cheese might actually help to protect your teeth from cavities by preventing something called demineralization (the loss of important calcium in your teeth).

Above article from HealthTeeth.org

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200
Email: info@thecosmeticdentist.com
Website: www.thecosmeticdentist.com 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Learn more about toothpaste

What is toothpaste

  • Abrasives Detergent (1-2 per cent)
  • Binding agents (1 per cent)
  • Humectants (10-30 per cent)
  • Flavouring, sweetening and colouring agents (1-5 per cent)
  • Preservatives (0.05-0.5 per cent)
  • Water

Toothpastes are the most widely used oral health care product and there is considerable choice available to the consumer. Toothpaste types range from family anti-decay/anti-plaque types to the specific formulations for smokers, for sensitive teeth, special children's formulations and the recently introduced tooth whitening pastes which are the fastest growing sector of the toothpaste market.

Toothpaste ingredients are usually shown on packs w/w' - that is weight for weight, or grams per 100 grams. Under new European cosmetics legislation, toothpastes are required to list all ingredients. In addition to water and therapeutic agents such as fluoride, antibacterial, desensitising and anti-tartar agents, toothpaste will normally contain the following basic ingredients:

  • Abrasives
    These cleaning and polishing agents account for about a third of toothpaste by weight. Most of the abrasives used are chalk or silica based. Examples are dicalcium phosphate, sodium metaphosphate, calcium carbonate, silica, zirconium silicate or calcium pyrophosphate. Abrasives differ; an international standard defines a test paste against which toothpaste abrasivity can be assessed, but there is no system for ensuring that all toothpastes sold in the Republic of Ireland are at or below this abrasivity level.
  • Detergent (1-2 per cent)
    This makes toothpaste foam, as well as helping to distribute it round the mouth to lower surface tension and loosen plaque and other debris from the tooth surface. Examples are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium M Lauryl Sarcosinate
  • Binding agents (1 per cent)
    These agents prevent separation of solid and liquid ingredients during storage. These are usually derived from cellulose, sodium carboxy-methyl cellulose being the most commonly used. Carrageenans (seaweed derived), xantham gums and alginates are also used.
  • Humectants (10-30 per cent)
    These agents retain moisture and prevent the toothpaste hardening on exposure to air. Glycerol, sorbitol and propylene glycol are commonly used, glycerol and sorbitol also sweeten the toothpaste, though this is not their main function.
  • Flavouring, sweetening and colouring agents (1-5 per cent)
    Peppermint, spearmint, cinnamon, wintergreen and menthol are among many, flavourings used. Mucosal irritations from toothpaste are rare and are usually linked to flavourings or preservatives. They can take the form of ulceration, gingivitis, angular cheilitis or perioral dermatitis. Flavourless toothpastes are not available commercially so the only solution is to change brand. For people who react to mint, some children's formulations are mint free - for example homeopathic toothpastes tend to avoid mint because of interactions with other homeopathic remedies, but they may also leave out fluoride.
  • Preservatives (0.05-0.5 per cent)
    Alcohols, benzoates, formaldehyde and dichlorinated phenols are added to prevent bacterial growth on the organic binders and humectants.

Above article from DentalHealth.ie

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200
Email: info@thecosmeticdentist.com
Website: www.thecosmeticdentist.com 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Learn more about ‘bad breath’


Halitosis or bad breath or oral malodour is socially unacceptable but self-diagnosis is difficult, as it is not possible to easily detect an odour from ones' own breath. Those who have halitosis are often unaware of it and often may be informed by friends or relatives. Yet those people who have been told that they suffer from bad breath can continuously worry if an offensive smell can be detected from their breath.

Halitosis is mainly caused by excessive amount of volatile sulphur compounds being produced by bacteria in the mouth. Studies have shown that up to 50 per cent of adults suffer from objectionable mouth odour in early morning before breakfast or toothbrushing. The reason for this is that saliva incubates bacteria in the mouth during sleep (reduced saliva flow). People with periodontal disease exhibit raised odour intensity due to incubation of saliva and micro-organisms in periodontal pockets.


The plaque control and oral hygiene products aimed at controlling dental caries and periodontal disease will also help prevent halitosis. Also, treatment of periodontal disease in which periodontal pocketing is reduced will minimize halitosis. A number of systemic diseases and conditions such as diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure and cirrhosis of the liver can give rise to particular bad odours.

There is increasing interest in the development of a reliable system that will measure the level of volatile sulphur compounds in one's breath. This technology is making rapid progress though the cost of a reliable system remains problematical.

Reduction of halitosis is achieved in several ways. The amount of volatile sulphur compounds in the breath can vary greatly during the day in a single subject and is influenced by factors such as eating, drinking, oral hygiene and sleep and the effect these activities have on saliva flow and the washing of the oral cavity. The majority of studies done on volatile sulphur compounds concentrate on the effects which commercially available mouthwashes have on the reduction of halitosis. The reduction in mouth odour is caused by the anti-microbial influence of the mouthwash.

Some products however, mask halitosis rather than dealing with the cause of the problem. Toothbrushing, eating, chewing gum and tongue brushing usually reduce the levels of oral halitosis to acceptable levels as well but the effect is not as long lasting as antimicrobial mouthwashes. There are now tongue cleaning devices which can be effective in controlling halitosis.

Above article from DentalHealth.ie

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200
Email: info@thecosmeticdentist.com
Website: www.thecosmeticdentist.com 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Keep Watch: The Abuse of Prescription Pain Killers

Sometimes after a dental procedure, your dentist may prescribe a narcotic analgesic, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone, to help relieve pain. When used as prescribed, you should know these medications are effective at minimizing post-operative pain. But using these drugs for any other purpose is illegal, dangerous, and can even be fatal.

Unfortunately, prescription medications have become a leading source of drug abuse among teens and young adults. These medications are often obtained from a friend or family member who had received a prescription for a legitimate purpose. Parents are sometimes fooled into handing over these drugs to treat an apparent symptom of physical distress or pain. More often, they are stolen from the medicine cabinet or lifted from the trash.  

You play an important role in keeping prescription medications from becoming a source of abuse in your household and in the community. To help prevent these medications from becoming a source of abuse, consider taking the following steps:

  • Communicate. Talk with your children about the dangers of using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. Be sure they understand that prescription drugs are not necessarily safe (or safer) just because they are legal. Prescription drugs can be just as addictive and dangerous (even fatal) as illegal street drugs. They are also only legal for the person for whom they are prescribed. 
  • Secure. Properly secure your prescription medications. Do not leave them in predictable, accessible places like your medicine cabinet. Hide them in unexpected places or, better yet, lock them up to ensure you do not become your teen’s supplier. 
  • Monitor. Be mindful of whether anyone else—especially your child and his or her friends—may have been taking your pills. Take note of how many pills are in each of your prescription bottles or pill packets and keep track of your refills. This goes for your own medicine, as well as for your teens and other members of the household. 
  • Dispose. Properly dispose of your unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications. If you are unable to attend a drug take-back day or cannot get to a permanent prescription collection site, try mixing unwanted prescription medicines with coffee grounds or kitty litter. This makes pills less appealing and less recognizable to anyone who can see your trash—including your kids. 
  • Spread the word. Tell your family, friends and neighbors about how teens are now using prescription drugs to get high. Encourage them to talk with their children, safeguard their medicines and tell others in their communities.
Learn more about how to keep your child from falling victim to prescription drug abuse at The Medicine Abuse Project.

Article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/p/prescription-drugs.aspx

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dental Health Awareness Month!

October is a busy month!  One particular reason is that it is Dental Health Awareness month. We should all keep our bodies healthy, which includes our mouths.  Much research has found that the mouth is the gateway to many health conditions in our bodies.  Let's all make sure we have healthy teeth and gums for a healthy body!

Is a Tongue Scraper a Helpful Tool?

A tongue scraper is a tool used to help clean your tongue. Although there's no strong evidence that tongue scrapers are any more effective than regular brushing of the teeth and tongue, it may help curb bad breath. Tongue scrapers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and work by starting at the back of the tongue and pulling the scraper forward. This removes any excess plaque and odor causing bacteria.

Possible causes of bad breath include diet, dry mouth, gum disease, tobacco use or simply bad oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits are essential to a healthy mouth.

Other tips for avoiding bad breath include:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Scheduling regular dental visits.
If you're concerned about the cause of your bad breath, see your dentist.

This article taken from:  http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/tongue-scrapers.aspx

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tips to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay!

Even though they are temporary, your child's baby teeth are important, and are still susceptible to cavities. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and have a good-looking smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come in correctly. It’s important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their teeth for decades to come.

What causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.
There are many factors which can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.
Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby.
If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay. The good news is that decay is preventable.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

  • Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
  • When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and water. Be sure to consult with your child’s dentist or physician if you are considering using fluoride toothpaste before age 2.
  • Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste from the ages of 2 to 6.
  • Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste—usually not before he or she is 6 or 7.
  • Place only formula, milk or breastmilk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks.
  • Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed.
  • If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his/her first birthday.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits.
When your child’s first tooth appears, talk to your dentist about scheduling the first dental visit. Treat the first dental visit as you would a well-baby checkup with the child’s physician. Remember: starting early is the key to a lifetime of good dental health.
Article taken from: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/baby-bottle-tooth-decay.aspx