What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Learn more about what you can do to protect your baby from dental decay.

Your child’s baby teeth don't last forever, but they are still important for the development and positioning of your child’s permanent smile. Therefore, it’s equally important that you protect these teeth from cavities by visiting your Albuquerque, NM, dentists, Dr. Jason Ross and Dr. Kerry Ross, as soon as your child’s first teeth erupt. There are steps you can also take at home to protect your child’s smile.

What is baby bottle decay?

You might be surprised to discover that many people put their infants or toddlers down for a nap or bedtime with a bottle that contains sugar water, juices, or even soda. These beverages should be avoided at all costs, as they can greatly increase your child’s risk of developing cavities.

It’s also particularly important for parents to know that they shouldn’t put pacifiers or the nipple of the bottle in their mouths. That’s because adults have bacteria in their mouths that babies do not. When your child drops their pacifier on the floor, you may think you’re doing a good thing by sucking on it to “clean it off”, but this can actually pass bacteria from your mouth to your baby’s. Since babies can’t use toothpaste or products containing fluoride they are more at risk for developing decay as a result.

How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?

Your Albuquerque, NM, dentists want to arm parents with helpful tips and practical knowledge regarding how to properly care for their child’s mouths. Here are some ways to care for your child’s teeth and gums to reduce their risk for cavities:

  • Make sure to schedule your child’s first dental appointment by the time they turn 1 year old
  • Brush your child’s newly erupted teeth with a child’s toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice until 3 years old
  • Between the ages of 3-6 years old, you can upgrade that grain-of-rice-sized toothpaste to a pea-sized amount
  • Only use breastmilk or formula in bottles, never sugary drinks

 You’ll need to help your child brush and floss their teeth until the age of 6 or 7 when they can often start doing it themselves, but they will still need to be supervised!

Once your child’s first tooth comes in, it’s important to talk with your Albuquerque, NM, dentists to find out when to schedule your little one’s first dental visit. Dr. Jason Ross and Dr. Kerry Ross, of Ross Family Dental, can promote a healthy smile in your child throughout the years. To learn more, call us at (505) 293-7441. 

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