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Milk can also cause tooth decay
The preservation and care of the milk teeth are extremely important from a "dental and orthodontic point of view", reports the proDente initiative. Because tooth decay has spread in the milk dentition, the risk of permanent dentition is significantly increased. In order to avoid the development of tooth decay, sugary drinks such as sweetened tea or fruit juice should be avoided as far as possible. However, milk can also damage teeth if it is in the mouth all the time, reports the proDente initiative.
Most parents are aware that sugary drinks do not belong in the baby bottle. But few people see milk as a threat to their children's dental health. ProDente reports that if the teeth are continuously washed with milk, this can also lead to the development of tooth decay. The cause is the contained milk sugar (lactose), which attacks the teeth over time. Instead of milk, parents should only offer their child water or unsweetened tea.
Feeding bottle caries a growing problem Dental health in babies and toddlers is the focus of this year's Dental Health Day on September 25th. In particular, the so-called feeding bottle caries is increasingly worrying the experts here. "While dental caries in schoolchildren has declined in recent years, caries in children aged 0 to 3, the so-called early childhood caries, has risen," warns the proDente initiative. Many parents would give their children baby bottles with milk, sweet tea, or juice. "Due to the permanent bottle sucking, often at night for self-service of the toddler, the teeth are constantly washed around by sweets or acids and thus damaged," explained Professor Dr. Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the Federal Dental Association. The bacteria in the mouth convert the sugar to acid, which decalcifies the tooth and slowly destroys it.
Milk sugar damages the teeth "It is important to know that not only the conventional white sugar (sucrose), which is often used in the household, damages the teeth, but also the sugar contained in milk, the so-called lactose", according to the proDente initiative. Therefore, according to the experts, parents should under no circumstances give their children the baby bottle to suck on. Water or unsweetened tea are also preferable to milk and "as soon as the child can sit, these drinks can and should be served from the cup," reports proDente. If the children develop tooth decay, it is important, according to the experts, to consult a dentist promptly. "The first signs of early childhood tooth decay are white spots on the affected milk teeth, especially on the upper incisors," said the initiative. The typical brown discoloration would arise from the stains within a short period of time, which would cause pain and, if necessary, tooth loss if it progressed further.
Healthy milk teeth important for development The proDente initiative further explained that feeding bottle caries is not just a cosmetic problem. Because healthy milk teeth would be the prerequisite "for a healthy development of the child and, if lost, can lead to chewing, language and social development disorders." Professor Austria emphasized that children with incisor teeth often experience social exclusion. The proDente initiative therefore advocates “systematic dental check-ups for young children”, whereby the early detection check should include “preventive and health education measures for parents on proper oral hygiene and dental health nutrition”. (fp)
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