Believe it or not: Formula milk can cause severe tooth decay in children

By June 16, 2017Current

TL;DR – Now you know.

About 38 percent of pre-school population in Singapore suffer from severe tooth decay and the problem is often linked to the intake of formula milk.

Sugars are found in formula milk because they provide a source of easy-to-digest carbohydrate. Babies’ intestines are not strong enough to digest complex carbs and fiber.

So when children fall asleep on formula milk, they become more susceptible to tooth decay.

Baby teeth may not be permanent but problems with these teeth can affect the growth of the adult teeth. Issues such as defects to enamel can cause adult teeth to be more prone to cavities.

Parents are advised to bring their children to the dentists by the age of one and use the right fluoridated toothpaste.

However, even with professional advice, first-time parents may still be clueless and anxious about doing the right things to prevent their children from developing tooth decay.

Some questions that they may have:

  • How soon should kids learn how to brush teeth?
  • Should parents jump in to help them brush if they are too young to know how to do it by themselves?
  • Some kids need to drink milk to sleep or they can’t sleep through the night – what should parents do?
  • Is it really necessary to see the dentist at such a young age?

In a local parenting forum, mummies were quick to share some tips on how to really get started with brushing.

Choose a toothbrush your kid likes

Start brushing at the first sign of an erupted tooth

Brush their teeth until they can write their name

Don’t drink milk after brushing teeth

Don’t let them sleep with milk bottle in their mouth

Avoid sugary stuff as their teeth are not strong

Start seeing a dentist between 1-3 years

The best advice from a dental hygienist


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Joey Wee

Author Joey Wee

I am nice, most of the time!

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