Most parents are guilty of this one mistake and don’t know it
“When children fall asleep while having the bottle or while breast feeding, the milk remains in their mouth all night long. Bacteria present in the mouth breaks sugar down into acid, causing tooth decay.”
If you’re a parent of children aged five and below and find their teeth black and rotten, you might be the reason for it.
“Nursing Bottle Syndrome (NBS)…is caused when baby teeth have contact with liquids containing sugar such as milk, formula or juice for an extended period of time,” said a Huffington Post report.
“It causes extensive decay. Consequently, children as young as two years end up needing fillings, crowns or extractions.”
Humairah Shah, a dentist, children’s book author, and the writer of the report, revealed that there has been a dramatic spike in toddlers requiring dental procedures wrought by NBS over the past decade.
“When children fall asleep while having the bottle or while breast feeding, the milk remains in their mouth all night long,” she said.
Find out how you can prevent NBS on the next page
“Bacteria present in the mouth breaks sugar down into acid, causing tooth decay.”
She suggests that after the first year of a child breastfeeding, have a bottle of water ready and swap after feeding so that the residual milk or formula is rinsed down.
“Aim to gradually reduce the frequency with which you feed at night.”
She also said that patients generally spend up to $2000, if not more for NBS.
“Most of my NBS patients are children who are less than five years old,” she said. “I have seen them suffer and their parents cry as they undergo treatment. Imagine the result if we channeled this money to educate parents and children about this under-addressed issue.”
How to prevent NBS
Humairah shares the following tips on how you can prevent NBS:
- Wean children from the bottle as early as 12-14 months
- Never let your child walk around with a bottle filled with milk for more than 20 minutes
- Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as teeth appear, or clean them using a wet cloth
- Dental examinations should begin at 12 months or earlier, if a problem is noted
- Juices and sodas cause erosion of teeth and should be avoided; 4oz is the maximum amount of juice a child should consume in a day
- Children should be fed every 2-3 hours
- A typical schedule could be breakfast at 8:00 am, snack at 10:00 am, lunch at 12:00 pm and so forth
- Water is the only thing they should be consuming between the meals
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