Prevent baby-bottle tooth decay by limiting the child's access to sweets in the bottle, practicing good oral hygiene and breaking bad habits. Protecting a baby's primary teeth is essential to good oral health for his lifetime.
- Keep juice out of the bottle
Bottles are only for breast milk, formula and water. If the child has diarrhea, it is acceptable to give him electrolyte drinks through a bottle. When training the child to use a sippy-cup, dilute juice with an equal amount of water to reduce sugar, but only use it in the cup, never the bottle.
- Practice good oral hygiene
Before the baby has teeth, wipe his gums with a clean washcloth each time he eats. Once the first tooth breaks through the gums, use a toothbrush without toothpaste to clean it. Continue cleaning gums using the washcloth. Floss between teeth. Schedule a dental appointment before the child's first birthday.
- Break bad habits
If you have already been giving the child sugary drinks through a bottle, break the habit. Begin by diluting the drink with an equal amount of water. After two weeks, only add water to the bottle. Never give the child a pacifier that has been dipped in anything sweet.