Baby bottle tooth decay

Baby bottle tooth decay or early childhood caries is a reality for many young children. It can be prevented if you follow these advices.

Baby bottle caries is a form of decay that attacks the primary teeth (baby teeth) and leads to their loss. The appearance of this type of decay is fast, aggressive and spreads quickly.

It can occur early, as soon as when the first tooth appears and until they are shed and replaced by permanent teeth. Because they are the child’s first teeth and because the permanent teeth will only appear much later (the baby teeth are present between 5 and 10 years old, depending on the type (molars, canines, incisors), it is important to take good care of it!

The loss of baby teeth caused by baby bottle decay can lead to various problems such as nutritional and phonetic issues. The aesthetic factor is also important. A child with a beautiful smile attracts attention. A child suffering from baby bottle tooth decay attracts attention too but not for the same reasons and it can become unpleasant for both parents and children.

How can I avoid this?
  • As parents, we must teach our children as soon as possible to take good care of their teeth, whether at home or at the dentist’s office. Let them discover teeth care through play, they will find it much more fun!
  • A child should never fall asleep with a milk bottle. The milk will leave a thin film on his teeth and it will promote the development of bacteria and cause decay. 
  • Apart from milk and water, your child should not drink juice or other drinks in a bottle. After he drank his milk in a bottle, clean his mouth and gums with a wet washcloth or a soft and small toothbrush. You can do the same when you give him medication or sugary syrups (liquid acetaminophen, liquid ibuprofen, antibiotics, etc.).
  • Do not dip the pacifier in honey, sugar or any other sweet food. 
  • According to the Université de Montréal Faculty of Dentistry, the weaning of a child should begin around twelve months old to slowly make the transition to the cup. Once his coordination is well established, the bottle should disappear completely, around 15 months old. The prolonged use of the bottle doesn’t only promote tooth decay; it can also lead to deformities that will require oral treatment later. 

Be aware of any change in color or texture of your child’s teeth. By closely monitoring his teeth, you could contribute to detect abnormalities quickly and thereby limit the damage it could cause. If you think that something unusual is going on in your child’s mouth, contact a trusted dentist who will help and reassure you.

Julie Mainella
Dental Assistant

Julie Mainella is passionate about all aspects of dentistry. Mom of two adorable girls, she made them understand the importance of dental health at an early age. She has worked with children in a dental practice and has a wealth of tips and tricks to make children like brushing their teeth and enjoy their visits to the dentist!

This week
Nipple shields, an underrated breastfeeding accessory

The pressure and relentlessness for breastfeeding are often palpable in the hospital after birth, to the point that bottle feeding has become almost taboo. However, breastfeeding is not always as natural as we think.

Research: New Rapid Test for Preeclampsia Can Provide Life-Saving Diagnosis

Researchers with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital have found that a simple urine test can rapidly detect one of the world’s deadliest pregnancy-related conditions at the point of care.

Do you have a small or big appetite?

I am always fascinated to see my children leave one last bite on their plate when they are no longer hungry. Especially when it comes to a food they like very much.

Teen Sexting: What are the laws?

Teenagers are budding with sexual energy. Mix that with cell phones and it can be a complicated combination.