How to Avoid Baby Bottle Cavities

How to Avoid Baby Bottle Cavities

Last update: 25 June, 2018

Baby bottle cavities are common in children who abuse their bottles. Babies who spend a large portion of the day chewing on the rubber nipple, even without drinking, are more prone to baby bottle cavities.

The resulting discomfort can cause children to refuse to eat, have little appetite, or make faces or get the goosebumps when they eat.

While many mothers are unaware of the connection, baby bottle cavities are a major threat to proper nourishment in babies.

Oral health should be a top priority even for babiesas your little one’s quality of life depends on it. Therefore, it’s also important to instill good habits from a young age. This applies both to your children’s eating habits as well as his or her oral hygiene.

Baby bottle cavities can affect your little one’s mood as well as his or her health.

What are baby bottle cavities?

Baby bottle cavities are those that appear in baby teeth during a child’s first years of life. The issue is closely related to the abuse of baby bottles, bad eating habits and poor oral hygiene.

Baby bottle cavities can cause pain, extreme sensitivity to cold or hot foods, and general eating difficulties.

How to Avoid Baby Bottle Cavities

What measures should I take to keep my baby from getting baby bottle cavities?

In order to prevent baby bottle cavities, it’s important to keep the following recommendations in mind.

  1. Don’t allow your child to develop a habit of using a baby bottle as a pacifier. Having rubber that is impregnated with milk, juice or other drinks in the mouth for too long can cause cavities. Some babies even get used to sleeping with a bottle in their mouths. This is especially dangerous.
  2. Avoid giving your child sweets. Many parents resort to dipping their child’s baby bottle or pacifier in something sweet to calm them down. Whether it be honey, syrup, sweetened condensed milk or any other sweet liquid, this is a negative habit. Not only can it contribute to the deterioration of your child’s teeth, but also to diabetes, obesity and many other health problems in the future.
  3. Give your child plenty of water. Water is the best medicine for the body and has the power to help eliminate the bacterial plaque that accumulates in your child’s mouth. Talk to your child’s doctor to know exactly how much water is appropriate for your little one, according to his or her age. Remember that babies under 6 months shouldn’t drink water, but rather only breast milk or formula.
  4. Take your child to the dentist regularly. Even though your child is little, a dental check up is never a bad idea. What’s more, if you believe your child could have cavities, then it’s very important that you speak with a specialist about the care that your child’s teeth requires.

Oral and dental hygiene: The best method to avoid baby bottle cavities

Besides the measures mentioned above, the most effective method for avoiding baby bottle cavities is proper oral and dental hygiene. This way, the bacterial plaque that produces cavities won’t harm your child.

However, getting a small child to follow an oral hygiene routine can be a difficult task. As a mother, you’ll have to be diligent and be sure you care for and check on your child’s mouth regularly.

How to Avoid Baby Bottle Cavities

If your child is very small and teeth have barely appeared, it’s still  important to clean his or her mouth, tongue and gums with a damp cloth.

If your little one already has teeth, then you should brush them with a very soft brush after every meal and before going to bed.

When brushing the bottom teeth, move the brush upwards. Brush downwards when brushing the top teeth. Follow this rule of thumb both for the outer side of the teeth and for the inner side.

This technique protects the gums and keeps your little one’s teeth clean. It’s also best to use toothpaste with fluoride, as this contributes to the preservation of the teeth’s enamel. 

However, you should talk to your child’s doctor first and use only a tiny bit of paste at each brushing (less than a grain of rice).

Taking care of your child’s oral and dental health from a young age will help guarantee that cavities never appear. If you help your child acquire good habits, you’ll soon see that he or she will follow your lead.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Molina Escribano Antonia, López Garví Antonio J., López Ibáñez Catalina, Sáez Cuesta Úrsula. Caries del biberón. Rev Clin Med Fam  [En  línea]. 2008; 2 (4): 184-185. Disponible en:
  • Ramos-Gomez FJ, Weintraub JA, Gansky SA, Hoover CI, Featherstone JD. Bacterial, behavioral and environmental factors associated with early childhood caries. J Clin Pedi Dent 2002;26(2):165-73.
  • Erickson PR, Mazhari E. Investigation of the role of human breast milk in caries development. Pediatr Dent 1999;21(2):86-90.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.