Baby bottle tooth decay! All you need to look for

Tooth decay in infants and young children or toddlers is known as baby bottle tooth decay. It most commonly affects the upper front teeth but may involve other teeth.

-by Dr Muntaha Tariq

Caries initially represents as brown spots on the teeth which worsen with time. Caries leads to the cavity formation, pain, swelling adjacent to the tooth that may progress to the severe infection and finally early tooth loss.

Baby bottle tooth decay: The real reason for

 The most common cause is the exposure of baby teeth with sweets or sugary fluids to go to bed. High sugar content in the juices, sweet milk or honey-dipped pacifier forms a sugary layer on the teeth for a longer time. Bacteria of the oral cavity are attracted by this sugary layer and will initiate decay in the milk teeth.

Oral care should start early

 Baby teeth are essential to save; otherwise, they will affect the child’s esthetics and health. Healthy teeth play a significant role in mastication and a healthy digestive system necessary for the body’s defence. Early loss of baby teeth will result in the crowding of permanent teeth as baby teeth are essential for the jaws’ growth so that there will be enough space for the aligned permanent teeth in the future.

Dental habits to avoid for your kid

It’s essential to take the preventive measures to save the baby teeth till the mixed dentition period begins i-e., six years approximately. Try to avoid adding sugar in the bottle to flavour milk or juice. Don’t allow the toddlers to sleep with a bottle. But if a bottle is must then fill it with water. And for the fussy kids who need pacifier at night for calm sleep. Never give them honey-dipped or sugary syrup coated pacifier at sleepy time.

Taking one step at a time

It’s mandatory to clean the gums and teeth of kids to maintain good oral hygiene. There are different ways to improve the baby’s mouth’s health status. Wipe the gums and the baby’s teeth after every bottle feed before nap, with the damp gauze on your finger.

Then, move forward to the soft toothbrush for the 6-12 months old baby. If mandatory, then apply only a small pea-size fluoridated toothpaste on the brush. But brushing should be done under parents’ supervision till the kid becomes sensible.

Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond. It’s mandatory to take care of your kid’s tooth so that your kid will enjoy every meal and every moment of the healthy life in the best possible way.

-The author is contributing writer at Dental News Pakistan and can be reached at

February 2, 2021

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