Also known as baby bottle tooth decay, bottle rot is a serious problem that can affect the teeth of a baby or a toddler. Put simply, it’s the formation of cavities in a baby’s teeth.
Sure, your child will eventually lose all of those baby teeth and replace them with adult teeth, but those temporary chompers are necessary not only for proper chewing and speaking, but also to help ensure the permanent teeth will grow in beautifully. So check out the information below to learn more about the causes of bottle rot and what steps you can take to prevent it.
To better understand how you can go about avoiding bottle rot, you need to know about what contributes to its development in the first place.
One mistake that parents make is using a baby bottle filled with a sweet drink as a sort of pacifier to keep a child calm and happy. Another mistake involves putting their baby to bed with a bottle, which essentially has the same effect. Basically, doing either one of these things could expose your little one’s delicate teeth to sugar for an extended period of time.
What’s the problem here? You probably already guessed it—when teeth are exposed to sugar frequently and for too long, the risk of decay increases. It’s why you make it a point to brush your teeth after you’ve had a sugary drink and before you head to bed.
Preventing bottle rot is probably a lot easier than you might imagine. Here are a few steps that you can take every day to help keep your baby’s teeth healthy, strong, and clean:
Even babies can develop bad habits that can be hard to break, but it isn’t impossible to get back on track. If your baby gives you a hard time when you try to take the bottle away, such as before a nap, you can still reduce the risk of bottle rot by diluting the sweet drinks gradually with some water. Genius!
Diluting your child’s drink over the course of two to three weeks could help establish new habits and preferences. Before you know it, you’ll be able to fill the bottle with water and give that to your bundle of joy instead, and you’ll both be able to rest easy.
Did you know that you could start taking your baby to the dentist when you notice the first tooth erupting, or by the time your son or daughter turns one year old? These checkups are the perfect opportunity to talk about the health of your baby’s teeth, as well as steps that you can take to avoid problems like bottle rot. Plus, you can even discuss options like sealant coatings that are used as a preventative measure against tooth decay.
Bottle rot doesn’t have to be a problem that you encounter while raising your baby. With some simple strategies, your child’s teeth will grow in perfectly and remain clean and strong.