Reflux: Will it harm baby's teeth?

I have a seven-month-old baby boy with gastroesophageal reflux. He has three teeth and is working on a fourth. I am concerned that the stomach acid will effect his teeth. Is there anything we can do to help in this situation?

Question:

Acid reflux can indeed affect your son's teeth over time by basically "eating away" at the enamel.

The enamel, especially on the tongue side of his teeth, can eventually be worn away by the acid, if enough of it is allowed to come in contact with the teeth. The main concern with acid reflux and primary teeth is that the enamel is thinner on primary teeth than on permanent teeth.

Your best defense is to practice good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing. In fact, I recommend brushing more often than twice daily, if possible. If the water in your area is not fluoridated, check with your pediatrician or dentist about a prescription for fluoride supplements.

While it is imperative for all parents to not put their child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, it is even more important for you to not do this. As your child gets older and starts eating more different types of foods, keep sugars to a minimum. As you already know, medications or treatments that can prevent or neutralize the acid reflux will also be helpful.

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