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    Monday – Friday 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
    Saturday 08:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries.

Tooth decay is a disease caused by cavity-causing bacteria by converting sugars in to acids (lactic acid) and thereby melting down the enamel and dentine on the teeth. Bacteria can be passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant via saliva contamination.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but not limited to those teeth. Usually more than 40% or more of the teeth may also be affected. The most common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to sugar. Prolonged exposure to sugar includes drinking milk out of bottle when the baby is put to sleep.

Studies have shown that adequate amount of fluoride in diet, water and fluoride treatments during regular dental visit significantly reduce the risk for tooth decay.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
  • Avoid saliva contamination with a baby using spoons or licking pacifiers.
  • Wipe off your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth after every feeding.
  • From the time the first tooth erupts to age 3, brush your child's teeth gently with a child-size toothbrush and a smear (or grain of rice sized amount) of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Ages 3 to 6 brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Until the age of 6 or 7, when the child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste supervised tooth brushing is highly recommended.
  • Avoid giving any sugar containing juices or drinks in bottle except for formula milk.
  • Never use sugar or honey dipped pacifiers.
  • Bedtime or nap time bottles must be finished before actually going to bed.
  • Encourage healthy habits like drink from a cup by his/her first birthday.

At Care Dental we like to see your child right after the first tooth appears. We call the first few dental visits "Happy Visits" during this time we try to get your child comfortable in our office and with our team. We always believe in starting early is the key to a lifetime of good dental health.