How do bottles and pacifiers impact a child’s smile?

At New Smiles Dental, our professionals provide Sherwood, Oregon families with a wide range of dental services. In addition to helping patients combat periodontal disease, cavities, and other problems that can impact the smile, we also educate parents on how to care for their child’s teeth. Many parents are concerned about their child’s oral health and want to learn ways to improve their child’s chances of keeping a healthy smile for life. One common concern is that of bottles and pacifiers. Both of these common baby items can have a negative impact on baby teeth and oral health.

Pacifiers

Pacifiers are known for helping calm a fussy baby. They allow the baby to suckle, which can be relaxing and beneficial for the baby. However, once you start using a pacifier, it can be difficult to get a child to stop. Long-term pacifier use can cause malocclusion of the teeth, sometimes referred to as “pacifier teeth.” This is the misalignment of the teeth which causes them not to close properly near the front of the smile. These issues can result in expensive and lengthy dental work as children grow, and impact the development of the teeth and gums. By reducing pacifier use—or avoiding it altogether—many parents can keep these problems from occurring.

Bottles

It may be tempting to put your baby down for naptime or bedtime with a bottle of formula or milk. However, this can be damaging to the smile as it can leave acids on their teeth that can contribute to tooth decay. Instead, avoid using a bottle before sleep, or provide your child with a bottle of water instead. Avoid milks, juices, and other drinks that can be damaging.

Learn more about caring for your child’s smile

If you are a new mom—or a veteran of parenting—you can always learn ways to better care for your child’s teeth and gums. The team of New Smiles Dental encourages you to book a consultation visit and learn about ways to manage your child’s oral health and wellness to create a proper foundation for a lifetime of advantages! Call New Smiles Dental today at (503) 925-9595 and visit the office at 17680 SW Handley, Ste. 101.

Posted in: Pediatric Dentistry

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