Baby Bottle / Early Childhood Cavities
Several specific types of bacteria that live on the teeth can cause decay. When sugar is consumed, the bacteria use the sugar to manufacture acids that dissolve the teeth and cause an infection in the tooth. This infection is called decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Here are some tips to avoid baby bottle decay:
- Put your child to bed with a bottle of plain water, not milk or juice.
- Stop nursing when your child is asleep or has stopped sucking on the bottle.
Try not to let your child walk around using a bottle of milk or juice as a pacifier.
- Start to teach your child to drink from a cup at about six months of age.
- Plan to stop bottle use by 12 to 14 months, at the latest.
- Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in honey or sugar.
- The same precautions apply to the prolonged use of “ Sippy Cups” containing juice or milk.