Oral health for babies

Oral health for babies

08 Feb 2011

Prolonged bottle feeding, particularly at night, has recently been discovered as a cause of tooth decay in very young children. In most cases, when lactose and plaque come together in a baby’s mouth, the combination chips away at enamel, however, this is a very complex area says Associate Professor of Oral Health, Mark Gussy.

Baby teeth‘The association of bottle use with early childhood tooth decay is seen in most studies, yet, most children use a bottle at some stage in their life and do not develop this severe form of dental disease,’ says Dr Gussy. 

It is important to preserve children’s primary teeth through brushing and good oral health. Young teeth are important factors of maturity for young children, necessary for chewing food properly and speech development.

‘Bottle use at night and after 6 months should be discouraged but we should not lose sight of the other factors which contribute to early childhood tooth decay such as children’s diets, level and types of bacteria in their mouths and their exposure to fluoride,’ Dr Gussy says.

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Contact details for Mark Gussy, Associate Professor of Oral Health:

P (03) 5444 7795
M 0419 549 899
E m.gussy@latrobe.edu.au 

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