young child baby girl

Baby bottle tooth decay, also known as “bottle rot,” is what we call tooth decay in your baby’s primary teeth. It is often associated with sugary drinks like formula, juice, or even milk that clings to the teeth and can stay there for a long time. Leaving a baby with a bottle when they go to bed is not as good of an idea as it may seem. If the baby falls asleep with their bottle in their mouth, the bacteria will feed on the juice, milk, or formula, and this will produce acids that cause tooth decay. Here are a few things to look for and ways to help prevent baby bottle tooth decay in your baby’s teeth.

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby bottle tooth decay happens when sweet liquids or foods cling to the baby’s teeth and the sugar in them allows bacteria to thrive. It often gets the name baby bottle tooth decay because it’s linked to letting babies sleep with their bottle, but it can happen with any food or drink. Some parents also dip their children’s pacifiers in a sugary drink at nap time, and the exposure of sugar to the teeth is a prime way to cause cavities in your children.

Signs of Tooth Decay in Babies

You may first notice white spots on the upper teeth or at the gum line. These spots can be hard to notice at first, and sometimes even a professional dentist may not be able to see them with the naked eye. However, it’s important to treat decay early. As soon as your child’s first tooth comes in, schedule an appointment with our dentist and continue to have your baby seen every six months.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

The number one thing you can do is to not let your baby sleep with a bottle. Make sure to gently clean their teeth and gums with a soft gauze after eating or drinking. You can also use a baby washcloth to clean your baby’s mouth. Do not start using toothpaste until the first tooth appears, and be sure to use a soft baby toothbrush when you do.

Do you have any more questions about how to keep your baby’s teeth healthy? Come see Dr. Bright today for your children’s appointment!