What is “baby bottle tooth decay”?

Also known as Early Childhood Caries or Nursing Caries, Baby Bottle Tooth Decay is caused by over exposure to sugary liquids. It is usually caused by putting a baby to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice, or soda, nursing babies on demand through the night, or allowing toddlers to graze with a sippy cup. This condition often destroys primary teeth, creating a need for major dental treatment. In addition, it will eventually damage your child’s permanent teeth if left untreated.

You can prevent this by following a few simple guidelines:

  • Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, breast milk, fruit juices, or any sweetened liquids.
  • Never give your baby a pacifier dipped in sugar or honey.
  • Only allow water in bottles and sippy cups used for grazing.
  • Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad after each feeding, and begin brushing as soon as the first tooth appears.
  • Encourage children to drink from a regular cup by their first birthday.