Understanding Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

November 21, 2017by Daniel Skillman

Baby teeth only last for a couple of years but that doesn’t mean that they are less important than permanent teeth.

If you want your child to have a good-looking smile, taking care of their first teeth is essential. When good oral care is practiced at an early age, your children will have a strong foundation that should help them for years to come. Poor dental hygiene can result to Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, which can greatly affect their future permanent teeth.

Understand more about this dental issue with the simple guide below:

How does Baby Bootle Tooth Decay Happen?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Carries happens on infants and toddlers when their first teeth are not properly cared for. This often appears on the upper front teeth but the lower set can also become affected.

Decay happens when bacteria get into their mouth and starts eating away their teeth, which are still extremely vulnerable during this stage. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Too much sugar.
  • Prolonged use of baby bottle, which encourages sucking between teeth.
  • Passing of bacteria from family members through spoon sharing and such.
  • Poor dental hygiene.
  • Insufficient fluoride.

How to prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Your child’s teeth and gums are still super sensitive to bacteria during this phase, making them vulnerable to get decay and infection. Here are some easy and effective tips to help protect your baby’s smile:

  • Brush teeth very gently and only use kid’s toothpaste with the proper fluoride content.
  • Teach your child the proper way of brushing and supervise until they can do it independently, which typically happens when they turn around 6 or 7.
  • Avoid spoon sharing, as this also promotes bacteria sharing. To keep your baby’s feeding spoon clean, wipe it with cloth or wash with warm water.
  • Clean your baby’s sensitive gums with a clean washcloth or a soft gauze pad.
  • Feed only milk or formula in your baby’s bottles and do not encourage sugary snacks, juices and soft drinks.
  • Teach drinking in a cup at an early age.
  • Do not encourage prolonged use of pacifier, as too much suckling can harm and even deform your baby’s teeth.
  • Practice healthy eating habits and avoid decay-causing food like candies and junk food.

To keep your child protected from Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, schedule a dental visit as soon as the first tooth appears.

This will help your baby learn to become more comfortable inside a dental clinic. Make sure you choose an ADA-certified pediatric dentist that has great experience with children. Treat this visit not just as a dental check up but also an opportune time for you to learn more about dental care for children.

Pay close attention to the dentist’s advice and don’t hesitate to ask questions or clear out any problems and issues you might have.

Make this a regular habit all throughout your child’s early years and you will be safeguarding their smile for a better future.


Saddleback Dental in Mission Viejo, CA provides personalized care, quality dentists you deserve. Services include cosmetic dentistry, implants, extractions, family pediatrics, and root canals.

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