Baby bottle decay, also called nursing caries or bottle syndrome, results from the child sleeping with a bottle containing anything other than water. There is an estimated fifteen percent incidence of baby bottle decay in areas that have no fluoridated water. It also occurs frequently in suburban, two career families where the parents return tired from the day’s work. They are more inclined to give the baby a sleep time bottle.
Baby bottle decay occurs when liquid from the bottle pools around the upper front teeth and frequently causes rapid decay of the maxillary incisors as well as the first primary molar teeth. The timing of this type of dental caries is between one and two years of age, although sometime it can occur before one year. The consequences of baby bottle decay can include infections, pain, premature tooth loss, and an increased risk for dental caries.
The following proper feeding practices will usually eliminate the possibility of baby bottle decay: