Idaho Pediatric Dentistry

Baby Bottle Decay

Baby Bottle Decay

What causes cavities?
Cavities are caused by specific bacteria found in the mouth.  They can grow to large numbers especially if the conditions are right.  They love sugar in all forms.  When we consume sugar, the bacteria use this sugar to survive and replicate and as a by product of their metabolism they produce acid.  This acid is what dissolves away the hardest substance in our body, which is our enamel on the outer surface of our teeth.  


What causes baby bottle tooth decay?
It is not the bottle that causes the decay.  It is the substance inside.  The most detrimental time to feed the bacteria in the mouth is during bedtime at night and during nap time.   Nightime breast feeding, milk feeding, or juice can be very damaging to some children, especially if they are genetically predisposed to dental decay.  

Tips to avoid baby-bottle decay:  

  • If you child must go to sleep with a bottle, only use water.  Any amount of milk or juice can be very detrimental.
  • Try to remove any milk off of teeth if they fall asleep during feedings.
  • Try not to let your child walk around using a bottle of milk or juice as a pacifier.
  • Make the goal to discontinue all bottles and sippy cups by 12-14 months of age.
  • Avoid any sugary substance on their pacifier or bottle.