What Is Bottle Rot? | 7 Ways to Prevent Baby Bottle Rot

You think you’re doing the right thing giving your baby a bottle to help settle into nap or bedtime. But if that bottle is filled with anything but water, you may be setting your baby up for bottle rot or early childhood tooth decay.

Keep reading to learn about bottle rot and how to prevent it.

What Is Bottle Rot?

Bottle rot is tooth decay of your baby’s first teeth. It happens when sugary drinks like juice, milk, or formula cling to your baby’s teeth for a long time.

A bottle may help him or her fall asleep, but inside the mouth, bacteria are feeding on the juice, producing the acids that cause tooth decay.

Bottle Rot Attacks Baby Teeth

Baby teeth do several really important jobs:

  • They help your child learn how to chew solid food and speak properly.
  • They serve as placeholders and guides for your child’s permanent teeth.

So, it’s important that you protect your child’s baby teeth from bottle rot and other types of harm.

How to Prevent Bottle Rot

You can prevent bottle rot from destroying your baby’s dental health by taking the following simple steps.

  1. Give babies only water in a bottle during a nap and bedtime.
  2. Limit the amount of juice and other sugary drinks during the day. 
  3. Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp baby washcloth after mealtimes.
  4. Never dip a pacifier in sugar, honey, or other sweeteners.
  5. If your water is not fluoridated, ask your child’s dentist or doctor if you should use a fluoride supplement.
  6. Avoid cleaning a baby’s pacifier with your mouth, sharing chewed food or using the same spoon.
  7. Schedule your baby’s first dental check-up by the time the first tooth comes in.

Treat Bottle Rot at Kool Smiles

If your baby needs to see the dentist or you’re concerned about bottle rot, come to Kool Smiles. We have over 120 dentist offices in the United States, and we’re always accepting new patients.

We can help you prevent bottle rot with regular check-ups and instructions on how to clean a baby’s gums and teeth. Call Kool Smiles today for an appointment!

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Sources:

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/what-is-baby-bottle-tooth-decay

Healthy Children: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/How-to-Prevent-Tooth-Decay-in-Your-Baby.aspx

Know Your Teeth: http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=c&iid=296&aid=1186