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What is bottle rot?

Baby bottle caries or early childhood caries, as it is known today, is a common type of caries that starts especially in the upper front milk teeth of babies and spreads rapidly to other teeth and progresses very quickly.

It occurs when babies or children fall asleep while breastfeeding or with a bottle in their mouth. Here, it is not the bottle that causes caries, but the milk with sugar, honey or molasses, formula or breast milk in the bottle. The contact of these sugary liquids with the teeth all night long leads to the rapid decay of milk teeth.

Baby bottle caries first start with chalky white stains on the enamel of the teeth and give a yellowish brown appearance with loss of enamel. Most of the time, when the family notices the caries on the teeth, the caries is quite advanced. Early diagnosis of bottle caries is very important. Baby bottle caries can be taken under control with the nutritional recommendations and preventive practices that your pediatric dentist will give in the early beginning. However, when it is late, the teeth may need root canal treatment or the teeth may need to be extracted.

To prevent baby bottle decay, ensure that your baby does not fall asleep with a bottle containing sugary liquids in his mouth. After each feeding, clean their teeth with a clean cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Most importantly, you should take your baby to a pedodontist regularly after their first teeth erupt.