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What is bottle tooth decay?

Bottle tooth decay is described as severe decay in infants and toddlers. In the US,over 60% of children have this condition. Primary teeth assist in the proper growth of adult teeth. It is very important to start proper oral hygiene techniques at a young age.

One of the most common causes of bottle decay is exposure to sweetened liquids frequently and regularly. The ADA reported, “Decay occurs when sweetened liquids are given and are left clinging to an infant’s teeth for long periods of time. Many sweet liquids that cause problems, are milk, formula and fruit juice. Bacteria in the mouth thrive off sugars and use them as food. They thenproduce acids that attack the teeth. Each time your child drinks these liquids, acids attack for 20 minutes or longer. After many attacks, the teeth can decay.”

Giving your child a bottle with sweetened liquid at bedtime to fall asleep is harmful to the child’s teeth. This is a common practice in some areas of the country. If you want to give your child a bottle of milk before bedtime,DO NOT let your child fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth. Instead, let the child drink the liquid and then clean thee teeth and gums with a damp sponge.

To learn how to prevent bottle tooth decay, read the blog on“Preventing bottle tooth decay”.