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Beware of Baby Bottle Rot

Posted on September 5, 2013 in Children’s Oral Health


baby bottleA bottle at bedtime is nothing new. Our parents put us to sleep with a warm bottle of milk, and I would guess that many of you continue that practice today. The difference between our parents time and our time as parents is that more information is coming to light about the effects of lingering milk on your baby's tiny biters.

Baby bottle rot is a well-documented side effect of putting your child to sleep with a bottle full of sugary milk. Yes, milk has sugar in it – quite a bit actually. While milk is great for building strong bones, it is not ideal as a nighttime beverage.

To help you get the facts, I’ve outlined some of the most important things to keep in mind for your baby's oral care.

Only use water in bottles before bed.
Milk, formula, juices and other sweet drinks such as soda all have sugar in them. Sucking on a bottle filled with sugary liquids can cause tooth decay. Only water should be used for nap or bedtime bottles. Or, try using a pacifier instead.

Wipe your baby's gums after feedings, even before he or she has teeth.
Wiping the gums helps promote production of saliva and good oral health.

Brush teeth as soon as you see them.
Clean your baby's teeth as soon as they come in with a clean, soft cloth or a baby's toothbrush. Clean the teeth at least once a day. It's best to clean them right before bedtime.

Don't put your baby's pacifier in your mouth.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth. You can pass bacteria to the baby through your saliva. Wash that binky with water, instead.

Children should have their first dental checkup by one year old.
A baby's first visit to the dentist should be made by the first birthday, or within six months after the first tooth erupts, whichever comes first.

Placing your children on the right path is vital to life-long healthy habits. By teaching them to brush regularly and visit the dentist you will decrease their chance of developing tooth decay.