Baby Bottle or Nursing Decay

Baby bottle or nursing decay occurs as a result of long-term contact between the teeth and liquids that contain sugars. The liquids collect around the teeth causing a build-up of a sticky substance called plaque which erodes the tooth, resulting in early childhood caries.

If a tooth decays, it becomes softened, discolored, and/or porous. Most of us call it a cavity. Your dentist calls it tooth decay or dental caries. They're all names for the same thing, a hole in your tooth.

What Leads to Nursing Bottle Caries?

Nursing caries is usually caused when a baby goes to bed with a bottle filled with milk, juice, or other sugary liquid -- anything but water. It usually affects children between 1-2 years of age and breastfed infants who fall asleep while nursing.

baby holding bottle
How Can I Prevent Baby Bottle Caries?

The following are suggestions you can follow to help prevent nursing caries:

  • Allow your child to drink only water at bedtime
  • Wean your child from the bottle as soon as possible
  • Begin good oral care early
  • Visit the dentist early and regularly

What are the treatments for Nursing Bottle Caries?

It is important to take your child to the dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts, and make regular visits thereafter. With regular visits, the children’s dentist has more options available for effective treatment.

Children’s dentists determine how to treat early childhood decay based on the extent of a child’s dental decay. When the problem is found early enough, it may be addressed with modified feeding habits and improved hygiene. Decay that is further progressed may require a filling, crown, extraction and/or sedation.

Do you have questions about baby bottle or nursing decay? Call Lil’ Smile Builders today to schedule an appointment. 909-554-3754