Bottles and Tooth Decay

The doctors and health team at Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics are here to maintain your child’s oral health from the moment their first teeth appear. Our pediatric dentists in Florida want to be part of your health team to reduce the risk of tooth decay that may result from bottle usage. We understand bottles are often an essential tool to feed your child. Thus, we provided tips on how to safely and effectively monitor bottle usage. This will help to allow for proper nutrition and prevent tooth decay.

Bottle Feeding Tips

The appearance of your child’s first tooth is an exciting time! Our dentists encourage you to be mindful of using a bottle when feeding your child and the way extended use may interfere with tooth health. To reduce tooth decay risk that may occur when bottle feeding, our Ponte Vedra dentists offer the following tips:

  • Once your child’s first tooth has appeared, avoid letting your child drink from a bottle for extended periods of time
  • Give your child time to finish bottle feeding before they fall asleep and eliminate letting them sleep with a bottle
  • Always brush your child’s teeth after they finish their nighttime bottle
  • A bottle should not be a replacement for a pacifier
  • Milk, formula, and juice may contain sugar that can affect your child’s tooth health so aim to eliminate sugary drinks
  • Avoid putting the bottle’s nipple in your mouth and then passing it to your child as this may transfer bacteria to your child’s mouth

Our bottle feeding tips are designed to improve your child’s dental health. We also recommend you speak with your child’s pediatrician to develop the best bottle-feeding plan for your family.

Tooth Decay Signs

It is important to understand that your child’s teeth can start to decay even in their younger years. A child’s baby teeth are place markers for adult teeth, so keeping baby teeth healthy is the goal. Sugary drinks and foods can damage teeth and lead to cavities. If you notice black or brown spots on your child’s teeth, increased spacing between teeth, or teeth that look as if they are misshapen or chipped, please contact our team. Dr. Maples is able to answer your questions on early tooth decay and recommend strategies to combat any tooth health challenges. Many of our suggestions include at-home prevention strategies such as:

  • Reducing the use of bottles that contain sugary or fruit drinks
  • Wiping your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth or gauze pad to remove any bacteria
  • Brushing your child’s teeth from the arrival of the first baby tooth
  • Scheduling your child’s first dental exam prior to their first birthday

If tooth decay has advanced, our doctor’s may recommend other techniques. These could include childhood tooth extraction, braces, and teeth extraction or more frequent checkups.

Contact Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics Today

Congratulations on your new family member! Our Ponte Vedra pediatric dentists wants to become part of your child’s wellness team. Remember oral health for your child is essential. Good oral health helps to establish strong teeth, good biting skills, natural teeth alignment and healthy adult teeth. The sooner your child learns to care for their dental health, the less risk of concerns such as tooth decay and tooth misalignment. We understand bottle feeding may be part of your every day, so please use our tips above to reduce the risk of tooth decay that may come from bottle feeding. If used carefully, bottle feeding is a wonderful way to bond with your child, provide essential nutrients, and improve tooth health. If you have any questions related to your child’s tooth care or are searching for answers on how to develop an at-home dental care routine, please speak with Dr. Maples. We look forward to providing care for your family’s needs if you live in the Ponte Vedra, Fl or surrounding areas. We provide a patient portal to keep you up to date on all your child’s dental records, and we provide orthodontic services if needed. Our friendly office staff looks forward to speaking with you soon. To schedule your appointment, please contact us today.