HOW CAN I PREVENT BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY (EARLY CHILDHOOD CARIES)?
One serious form of decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay, also called early childhood caries (ECC). ECC can be caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice, and other sweetened drinks. The AAPD stats here that ECC can have a lasting impact on a child’s oral health and should be taken seriously.
Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Sweet liquids pool around the child’s teeth, giving bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. If your child won’t fall asleep without the bottle and its usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle’s contents with water over a period of two to three weeks. If you have questions or concerns about this, please give us a call!