Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
“Baby bottle tooth decay” is a term used to refer to cavities and tooth decay that occurs in infants and young children. Like all cavities, baby bottle tooth decay is caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth. This condition usually occurs when a child keeps a bottle of sweetened liquid in bed with them or when parents share saliva with their children through sharing cups or eating utensils.
If your child keeps a bottle of sweetened liquid with them in bed, that liquid can remain in their mouth for some time. The bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars in this liquid and emit harmful acids that attack and wear away tooth enamel. If you share a spoon or fork with your child, you may transmit your saliva into their mouth, including decay-causing bacteria.
You Can Help Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay By:
- Rinsing pacifiers and toys in clean water, not with your own mouth
- Not sharing eating utensils with your child
- Not placing sugary drinks in your child’s bottle or sippy cup
- Filling your child’s bottle with water at night
- Not dipping pacifiers in honey or sweet liquids
- Helping your child use a regular cup after 12 months of age
- Feed your child a balanced, nutritious diet
- Gently clean your child’s gums after each feeding or meal
- Cleaning your child’s teeth for them until they are about seven years old
- Having our dentist review your child’s fluoride levels