alarm-ringing ambulance angle2 archive arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up at-sign baby baby2 bag binoculars book-open book2 bookmark2 bubble calendar-check calendar-empty camera2 cart chart-growth check chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up circle-minus circle city clapboard-play clipboard-empty clipboard-text clock clock2 cloud-download cloud-windy cloud clubs cog cross crown cube youtube diamond4 diamonds drop-crossed drop2 earth ellipsis envelope-open envelope exclamation eye-dropper eye facebook file-empty fire flag2 flare foursquare gift glasses google graph hammer-wrench heart-pulse heart home instagram joystick lamp layers lifebuoy link linkedin list lock magic-wand map-marker map medal-empty menu microscope minus moon mustache-glasses paper-plane paperclip papers pen pencil pie-chart pinterest plus-circle plus power pushpin question rain reading receipt recycle reminder sad shield-check smartphone smile soccer spades speed-medium spotlights star-empty star-half star store sun-glasses sun tag telephone thumbs-down thumbs-up tree tumblr twitter user users wheelchair write yelp youtube

How to Avoid the Dreaded Bottle Rot

As pediatric dental care experts, our top priority is good dental health in our young patients.

In addition to providing great care in our practice, this includes giving parents of small children all the tools and knowledge they need to keep those teeth healthy and strong. Today, we want to focus on protecting kids’ teeth from something called “bottle rot.”

Bottle Rot: Pretty Much What It Sounds Like

Bottle rot, also called “baby bottle tooth decay” is what happens when the sugar in milk or juice is allowed to linger in a baby, toddler, or small child’s mouth for extended periods of time on a regular basis. A bottle or sippy cup at bedtime is a major culprit. Over time, those sugars feed the bacteria in the child’s mouth, and they can develop serious tooth decay and cavities. It can even happen with breast feeding if the baby’s gums and teeth aren’t cleaned afterward!

Tips for Preventing Bottle Rot

Avoiding this problem is simple in theory: only use bottles or sippy cups at mealtimes. If a child older than six months still gets thirsty in between meals, give them water. In practice, sometimes it’s hard to withhold that tasty juice when it’s what the little one wants, particularly when bedtime feels like a battle zone, but stay strong! Keeping their adorable smiles healthy will be worth it.

Beyond limiting bottles and sippy cups to mealtimes, it’s also important to clean out the milk or juice residue after a meal. Start brushing those baby teeth as soon as they appear, using a soft toothbrush and a tiny dab of toothpaste. It’s also a good idea to limit their overall consumption of sugary drinks like juice and soda.

Treating Bottle Rot When It Happens

If your child already has some tooth decay or you’re worried they might have it in the future, schedule an appointment with us! We can assess how extensive the decay is and determine the best steps to take to treat existing cavities and prevent new ones from developing. We can also give their teeth extra protection with sealants and fluoride varnish treatments.

Help Us Help Your Child Have Healthy Teeth and Gums

Parenting comes with all kinds of challenges, but we want to help make sure that keeping your children’s teeth healthy is as easy to achieve as possible, including preventing and treating bottle rot. If it’s been a while since you brought your kids in for a dental exam and professional cleaning, just give us a call!

Thank you for being part of our practice family!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.