Seven tips to avoid baby bottle tooth decay

Your child’s baby teeth are important! Infants and toddlers need healthy teeth and gums to help with eating solid foods, developing language skills, and helping permanent teeth erupt in the right positions.

When babies get cavities, they are usually caused by “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.” This decay is caused by the use of baby bottles in bed, the use of the bottle for non-milk liquids such as juice, and prolonged use of the bottle after 1-2 years of age. Toddlers still using a bottle are not only more likely to develop cavities, but also may have issues with proper dental development, and may not eat enough solids for a healthy diet.

Prevent tooth decay for your baby with these seven tips:

  1. Start brushing your baby’s gums and teeth early. When their first teeth come in at around 6 months, brush gently with water or a small amount of toothpaste.
  2. Use the bottle for only breast milk, formula, or milk. Use a training cup to introduce water. Bottles should not be used to give sugar-filled drinks to your baby (skip the juice).
  3. Do not let your baby fall asleep drinking a bottle. Have them finish their last feeding before bedtime.
  4. Teach your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday
  5. Encourage a healthy diet including fresh vegetables and fruits. Avoid processed, high sugar foods.
  6. Schedule your baby’s first dental visit around their first birthday
  7. Supervise brushing until your child until at least 6 years of age.