Baby relaxes on the couch as he drinks from a bottle

Can Bottle Feeding Affect My Baby’s Teeth?

May 25, 2021 2:11 am

If you have a new baby, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed! You are exhausted. Worry may be your constant companion. After all, there are so many things to do, think about, and pay for when it comes to a child. You want to keep them fed, clean, well-rested, and happy; prevent diaper rash, sunburn, and sickness; and help them develop physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. This is all while caring for your own health, sanity, and other relationships!

Our team at Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is here to answer all your questions related to your child’s dental health. We want your child to have healthy oral habits so they don’t develop dental disease, such as tooth decay.

What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acids that damage enamel, the outer layer of teeth. Baby bottle tooth decay can result from prolonged exposure to sugary drinks in a bottle. If a child is given a bottle when they go to sleep or to slowly suck on throughout the day, their teeth always have a coating of sugar that allows bacteria to continually cause damage. The front teeth are particularly vulnerable to this condition.

How to Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

As soon as your child gets their first tooth, usually between between 6 and 12 months, we recommend brushing every day with a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. We also invite you to schedule their first dental visit to our office.

Avoid putting your child to bed with bottles filled with formula or juice or using a bottle to soothe them. Offer them a clean pacifier if they need to suck for comfort. Don’t let them walk around the house “grazing” on a bottle; limit bottles to feedings. Around 12 months, begin weaning your child off the bottle and transitioning to a cup. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends complete weaning from the bottle by 15 months at the latest.

We Welcome Kids of All Ages!

Contact us today to schedule your child’s first checkup at Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in San Antonio, TX. We offer comprehensive pediatric dental care, including cleanings, checkups, fluoride treatments, fillings, crowns, baby root canals, oral surgery, emergency care, dental sedation, orthodontics, and special needs dentistry.


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