Baby bottle tooth decay! a common problem
Baby bottle tooth decay happens when sweetened liquids or those with natural sugars (like milk- formula or breast milk, and fruit juice) cling to an infant‘s teeth for a long time. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and make acids that attack the teeth. It can happen with prolonged breastfeeding as well!
Although baby bottle tooth decay typically happens in the upper front teeth, other teeth may also be affected. Changes can be seen as early as 18 months.
So how can we prevent it?
- Never put your child to bed with a bottle or the breast in their mouth.
- Stop bottle feeding at 1 year! Children can drink from a cup with a straw or hard spout.
- Decay can also occur with long periods of breast feeding. After 1 year, breastfeeding can continue a couple times a day. Don’t let your child fall asleep at the breast
How to clean a child’s teeth
- Wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad or washcloth after feedings.
- Begin brushing your child’s teeth twice a day with a soft infant tooth brush when their first tooth comes in.
- Floss once all the baby teeth have come in.
- Schedule regular dental visits by your child’s third birthday.