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Baby Bottle Syndrome

April 27th, 2011

           Some parents, in an attempt to pacify their infants at bedtime and promote their falling asleep, will unknowingly cause severe problems with their child’s teeth.  Baby bottle syndrome (also called nursing bottle syndrome) is the development of significant tooth decay which is directly related to the sugars found in the liquids which are given to your child in the baby bottle.  Fruit juices and milk are the most common culprits, as the sugars in  these liquids bathe the teeth continuously as the baby bottle nipple is in the mouth. The normally present oral bacteria digest the sugars in the milk or juice, leading to the formation of acids.  These acids then attack the tooth enamel and cause decay,  resulting in dental caries and subsequent problems. 

           The best treatment for this baby bottle syndrome is simple prevention.  Do not give your child a bottle of milk or fruit juice at bedtime.  Please use a plain pacifier or a baby bottle filled with water.  Yes, milk is an important part of your child’s diet, but it should not be allowed to stay in contact with the teeth for a prolonged period of time.  If you notice any signs of problems with your infant’s developing teeth where baby bottle syndrome may be a factor, consult with your dentist as soon as possible.

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