beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

To find a doctor, call 800-667-5356 or click below:

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

left banner
right banner
Smaller Larger

Health Tip: Help Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

(HealthDay News) -- Yes, baby teeth are only temporary. But they're still susceptible to the pain and discomfort of tooth decay -- often dubbed "baby bottle tooth decay."

The American Dental Association suggests how to prevent the problem and keep your child's mouth healthier:

  • Don't share utensils with your child or put a pacifier in your mouth, which could transfer germs to your child.
  • Until the teeth start coming in, wipe baby's gums with a damp cloth.
  • Once the teeth start coming in, brush with a child-size toothbrush and water. Do not use fluoride toothpaste until age 2, or as recommended by the pediatrician.
  • Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste between ages 2 and 6.
  • Carefully monitor your child when brushing teeth until about age 6 or 7, until you're sure the child won't swallow toothpaste.
  • Never send your child to bed with a bottle.
  • Make sure your child's pacifier is always clean, and never dip it in honey or sugar water.
  • Promote healthy eating habits and encourage your child to drink from a cup by the first birthday.

All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Search Your Health