What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay And How To Prevent It

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay in infants and young children is referred to as baby bottle tooth decay. This is a common problem among children under the age of 5. Baby tooth decay happens when sweetened liquid or those with natural sugars (like formula milk and fruit juice) clings to an infant’s teeth for a long period of time. Bacteria in the mouth develop on this sugar and make acids attack the teeth. 


Boy showing teeth holding a toy denture

How to prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

  • Wipe the baby's gums with a clean gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding.
  • Begin brushing your child's teeth, without toothpaste, when his or her first tooth comes in. If you choose to use toothpaste, use a fluoride-free one.
  • Clean and massage gums in areas without teeth.
  • Floss once all the baby teeth have come in.
  • Never put your child to bed with a bottle or food.
  • Teach your child to drink from a regular cup as soon as possible.
  • Limit the amount of sweet or sticky foods your child eats.
  • Never give your child a pacifier dipped in anything sweet.
  • Substituting water for juice, formula or milk in your child's bottle


Smiling girl with curly hair posing

The Importance of Treatment for Baby Bottle Tooth Decay


In order to prevent your child’s tooth decay to become severe, consult with your dentist at the earliest sign of the problem. If detected immediately, you and your child's dentist can work together to formulate an approach to management and treatment.

We know those baby teeth will eventually fall down, so most of us are not bothered by it. However, there are many reasons to be concerned about the premature loss of baby teeth. The baby teeth act as a placeholder for the permanent teeth. If they are lost prematurely, the spacing of the permanent teeth can be affected. 

Premature tooth loss can make it difficult for your child to eat nutritious food. It can also affect his or her ability to speak properly and it could lead to a need for future speech therapy. They may also start to feel less confident with how they speak and would smile less because of their missing teeth.


Mother carrying her smiling toddler to the air


Bad hygiene habits could follow your child into adolescence and adulthood. In order for you to ensure your child’s dental hygiene, you need to teach them proper oral care from the beginning. Introduce your child to a fun way to brush with the help of AutoBrush for Kids

The best approach to baby bottle tooth decay is prevention. If your child does experience early childhood dental cavities, you and your child's dentist can work together to establish the best treatment strategy.

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