Causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
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27 March 2023

Causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay


What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay? 


Baby bottle tooth decay is a type of tooth decay that affects infants and young children. It occurs when the baby’s teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids such as formula, juice, or milk (especially if they are put to bed with one of these drinks).  


The bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars present in these liquids, producing an acidic environment that can cause the tooth enamel to break down and eventually lead to cavities and other forms of tooth decay. 


What are the causes of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay? 


1.Sugary Foods: The most common cause of baby bottle tooth decay is prolonged exposure to sugary liquids, and the most common source of these liquids is a bottle. When a baby falls asleep with a bottle of formula, juice, or milk in their mouth, the sugar in these liquids is slowly released into the baby’s mouth over an extended period of time. This extended exposure to sugar allows the bacteria in the baby’s mouth to feed on it and produce an acidic environment conducive to tooth decay. 


2.Poor Oral Hygiene Habits: In addition to prolonged exposure to sugary liquids, there are other factors that can increase the risk of baby bottle tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene habits, such as not brushing and flossing often enough, can increase the chances of tooth decay. Not rinsing the baby’s mouth after they eat can also increase the risk of tooth decay. It’s important to remember that the longer a baby falls asleep with a bottle in their mouth, the more likely it is that their teeth will be exposed to the sugars in the liquid. 

 3.Type of bottle to feed the baby: Finally, the type of bottle used to feed the baby can also contribute to baby bottle tooth decay. If the bottle has a wide neck, it is easier for the baby to drink it without taking a break. This can result in prolonged exposure to sugar, as the baby will not be able to rinse their mouth after drinking. Using bottles with a narrow neck can help to reduce the risk of tooth decay. 


In order to prevent baby bottle tooth decay, it is important to practice good oral hygiene habits and limit the number of sugary liquids that the baby is exposed to. Regular brushing and flossing the baby’s teeth is a good start, and wiping their gums after each feeding can help to remove any remaining sugars.  


Finally, it is important to remember that the longer a baby is exposed to sugary liquids, the more likely it is that they will develop baby bottle tooth decay.