Our children's dentists recommend that babies give up using a bottle entirely by their first birthday. Using a baby bottle can lead to cavities or other health risks for children as they grow up.
At the end of your child's first year it's important to start weaning your baby off of bottles and start getting them comfortable drinking from cups. The longer you wait, the more attached your child may become to their bottle and the harder it can be to break the habit.
Ditching The Baby Bottle
Baby bottles may seem harmless, but prolonged bottle feeding poses oral health risks for children.
Drinking from a bottle throughout the day means regular contact with milk or juice, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Allowing baby to have a bedtime bottle is often the biggest cause of early decay. Sugars in these drinks pool around the teeth and gums and feed the bacteria that cause plaque.
Sucking on baby bottles can also affect the development of your child's muscles, mouth, and palate, which can affect their teeth and create misalignment issues.
Avoiding Early Decay
To avoid early tooth decay move your child from a bottle to a regular cup as soon as possible.
Whether or not your child still uses a bottle, helping them to take good care of their teeth will pave the way for good healthy adult teeth.
Always clean your baby's gums after a feeding, even before you see any teeth. Once your child’s first tooth comes in, begin brushing with soft bristled toothbrush and child-safe toothpaste. Once your child has two teeth next to each other, you should also start flossing them.