Baby Bottle Syndrome
Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as baby bottle tooth decay or Early Childhood Caries (cavities). This is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar, like sweetened water and fruit juice and potentially milk, breast milk and formula.
Decay will most commonly occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby. The sugary liquids pool around the teeth while the child sleeps. It most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. The good news is cavities are almost completely preventable!
- After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums with a clean, damp washcloth and brush the teeth gently with a child-sized toothbrush and water.
- Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday and discourage prolonged use of a training or sippy cup.