Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, also known as early childhood caries, is tooth decay that occurs in toddlers and infants because the baby bottle with sweetened liquid stays in their mouth for too long of a period. Children need healthy and strong primary teeth to chew correctly and learn to speak correctly. Taking steps to prevent baby bottle tooth decay is essential.


There are various risk factors associated with children's tooth decay. One frequent offender is the prolonged exposure to sugary drinks on the teeth. Most commonly, these are milk, juice, and baby formula.

Putting your child to bed for a nap or at nighttime with a sugary drink can cause significant problems. This is because our saliva flow is at a low point when we sleep. Because saliva stays in the mouth, the bacteria take advantage of the sugar, producing acid. This acid attacks the teeth.

Tooth decay and cavities also are produced by bacteria that parents pass to their babies through saliva. This happens when we share spoons, taste-test foods, or clean a pacifier using our mouth. These bacteria can begin the cavity-causing process before the baby's primary teeth emerge. It is important to avoid sharing your saliva with your baby from the beginning.

If your child receives an inadequate quantity of fluoride through the water, our team might provide you with fluoride supplements to help prevent cavities.

Tooth Decay Prevention

The best news about baby bottle tooth decay is that we can prevent it. Here are some tips:

  • Use a clean gauze pad or cloth to wipe your child's gums after each meal.
  • Initiate the brushing practice with your child, when the first tooth emerges without using toothpaste.
  • For areas without teeth, clean and massage the gums.
  • Only fill baby bottles with formula, breast milk, or milk. Skip filling the bottles with sugary liquids including water, soft drinks, or juice.
  • Don’t dip a pacifier in sugar, honey, or anything sweet.
  • Bring your child by our office before his or her first birthday or when you see their first teeth.

Remember, establishing healthy oral habits result in healthy big smiles.