Preventing Nursing or Baby Bottle Caries?

Preventing Nursing or Baby Bottle Caries?

Sometimes parents use a baby bottle as a sleep aid and develop tooth decay due to that is called Nursing Bottle Caries or Baby Bottle Syndrome.

For cavities to form, the key ingredient is sugar, and in this case it’s in the form of milk or juice. As the child sleeps, the liquid sits on the front teeth of the child and with time, start developing cavities on the front teeth

What causes Nursing Bottle Caries?

  1. Baby’s teeth are exposed to sugary drinks for a long period of times.
  2. Non-Milk Extrinsic Sugars (NMEs)
  3. Using pacifiers for a long period of time.

When do I send my children to the dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a child’s first visit to the dentist should be by his/her first birthday.

The first visit it usually to begin desensitizing the child and educating the the parents on proper oral child hygiene.

How do I know if my child has cavities or Baby Bottle Syndrome?

  • White Spots on the teeth
  • Bad Breath (halitosis)
  • Carmel or black spots on the teeth
  • Swollen Gums.

How do I treat Baby Bottle Syndrome?

  • Conventional dental fillings.
  • If the tooth is severely decayed, placing dental crowns over the teeth.
  • If some teeth were lost, using space maintainers to maintain the space.

What if my child fears the dentist?

  •  There are multiple ways to help the child
    • Making sure the parents do not show the child that THEY fear dentists.
  • Tell, Show, Do.
      • The TELL phase involves an age appropriate explanation of the procedure. The SHOW phase is used to demonstrate a procedure up to the point where the instrument is performed. The DO phase is then initiated and the treatment is performed.
  • Sometimes we can utilize Nitrous Oxide, that’s provided at Al Bahri Dental and Orthodontic Center to calm the patient down.
  • In severe cases, we can put the child under general anesthesia in the operating room and take care of all the cavities, in Albahri Dental and Orthodontic Center, we have privileges in Specialized Medical Care Hospital, where we can perform any procedure under general anesthesia or sedation.

How to prevent baby bottle syndrome?

  • Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean wet gauze after each feeding.
  • When your child’s first tooth comes in, brush it gently with a child-size toothbrush and water. Use just a “smear” of toothpaste for children younger than 3 years old and a pea-size amount for children 3 to 6.
  • Never put your baby to bed with a bottle containing anything but water. If your baby sleeps with a bottle, gradually wean him or her off by removing it as soon as he or she falls asleep. Dilute the bottle contents with water over 2 to 3 weeks. Once that period is over, fill the bottle only with water.
  • Never fill bottles with liquids such as sugar water, juice, or soft drinks.
  • Never give your child a pacifier dipped in anything sweet like sugar or honey.
  • Book your baby’s first visit to the dentist after the first tooth emerges and no later than the first birthday.







Written by:

Dr. Rami Albahri DDS, MMSc.


Prosthodontics and Implant Surgeon.

Harvard & NYU Educated.

Medical Director.




For consultations contact us

Abu Dhabi – +971 2 575 1856

Al Ain – +971 3 7643273


Share it!