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Baby Bottle Tooth Decay—or Early Childhood Caries—occurs when sugar wears away the enamel of children’s teeth, usually as a result of using a baby bottle. Before you discard your child’s bottle, though, our team would like to provide you with tips to avoid tooth decay.

To limit your child’s exposure to sugar, only fill his or her bottle with formula, milk or water. Save sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice for meal times. Putting your child to bed with a sugary drink allows the sugar to remain on the teeth all night, creating a breeding ground for plaque. If your child requires a bottle at bedtime, supply him or her with water.

Tooth decay can also spread from you to your child through shared saliva. If you clean a bottle or pacifier by sticking it in your mouth, bacteria will transfer to your child. Always clean bottles and pacifiers with warm water and soap before giving either to your child.

Daily dental care is paramount to avoiding tooth decay. As soon as your child has teeth, you should begin brushing and flossing. Infants require only a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice, while children over three can use a pea-sized amount.

As always, your dentist is a great resource if you’re concerned about your child’s oral health. Dr. Timm and Dr. Anderson treat children of all ages and will be happy to discuss preventive strategies for tooth decay. To schedule an appointment, contact All Family Dental at 651.222.9715. Our facility is located in Oakdale, Minnesota.