Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Your child's baby teeth are temporary, but that doesn't make them any less important. They are still susceptible to cavities and tooth decay, also called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries. Strong and healthy baby teeth allows your child to chew their food, speak and have an attractive smile. They also can make sure the child's adult teeth come in correctly.


Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most commonly occurs in the upper front teeth, but is also possible in other teeth. Prolonged exposure to drinks containing sugar is usually the cause, such as putting a baby to bed with a bottle or substituting a pacifier with a bottle when a baby is fussy.

It can also be caused by bacteria passed from mother to baby through saliva. If a mother puts a feeding spoon in her mouth before feeding the baby, it transfers bacteria. Lack of fluoride may also cause tooth decay.


Luckily Early Childhood Caries is entirely preventable:

  • Try not to share saliva with your baby through feeding spoons or pacifiers. Wipe The child's gums with a washcloth after every feeding.
  • When your child's teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and water. Consult with a dentist before using fluoride toothpaste on a child under the age of two.
  • Brush the teeth with a pea-size amount of toothpaste from age two to six.
  • Supervise your child when they are brushing your teeth until you can be sure they spit out the toothpaste rather than swallowing it.
  • DO NOT put sugary drinks such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks in the child's bottle - stick to formula, milk or breastmilk.
  • Infants should finish their bottle before a nap or going to bed at night.
  • Make sure your baby's pacifier is always clean.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits.

When your child's first tooth appears, schedule a dental appointment. Starting early is a good way to ensure a lifetime of healthy habits.



Courtesy of Mouth Healthy

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