Medical Minute: Bottle Rot Syndrome

Maybe you’ve seen them in your neighborhood or at the hair salon, cute little babies and toddlers who seem healthy and normal — until they smile or open their mouths to reveal tiny silver caps covering their front teeth.

Baby bottle tooth decay, or baby dental caries, is a result of mothers putting babies to bed with a bottle (or no-spill cup) full of sugary milk, juices or sodas. The prolonged contact of milk or juice leaves a sticky film on the baby’s teeth all night long.

Bacteria, which is always present in the baby’s mouth, eats the sugar in the film and converts it to acid which then eats away at the enamel on baby’s teeth. The damage progresses through 3 stages:

  • Stage 1 – signs go unnoticed as bacteria decays teeth from inside out
  • Stage 2 – discoloration begins at the gum line and works down the tooth
  • Stage 3 – teeth begins to visibly corrode, fracture and fall out

Again, Stage 1 goes undetected. So by the time the bottle rot has progressed to stage 2, it may be too late to save the teeth. And if your child’s permanent teeth have already grown in (or the baby teeth never fall out, such as in producer Jermaine Dupri’s case) the Dental bills can be very expensive. Some dentists charge $3,000 and up to save your child’s teeth.

Treatment includes painful root canals, extractions and/or the placement of porcelain caps (expensive) or silver caps (cheaper) over the baby’s teeth to save them. Extensive dental treatments could require hospitalization.

Dentists advise mothers with children of teeth bearing age to avoid putting your toddler to bed with a bottle or a no-spill cup filled with anything other than water. If your child fusses and cries, she will eventually the no milk or juice at night rule and you will get a good night’s sleep.

Also, teaching your toddler to brush her teeth after meals is not a bad idea. And give her healthy food to eat such as apples and carrots in place of candy.

You should also cut back on bottled water and give your baby tap water instead since healthy teeth need fluoride to keep them hard and prevent decay.

Take your baby to the dentist as early as age 1 to give your dentist the best chance to diagnose problems early.

More info on the Web

Bottle Rot Syndrome – ePinions

Bottle Rot FAQS – Children’s hospital

Dental Tips for Children

DISCLAIMER: As always, any medical information published on this blog is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider.



 


23 Responses to “Medical Minute: Bottle Rot Syndrome”

  1. 1
    FloridaChick813 says:

    OH MY!!!!!!!!

    Im soooo blessed that my baby LOVES brushing his teeth :pray:

  2. 2
    MissGauzzz says:

    folks used to think it was strange when my son wouldn’t eat candy or other junk (every now and then he would eat but not often)…he is now 22 years old and has never had a cavity! his teeth are gorgeous!

  3. 3
    bigtyme says:

    lol at the mention of jermaine dupri’s little teeth!

  4. 4
    yvonne79 says:

    If your child has the “yuck mouth”, slap yourself please! :coffee:

  5. 5
    babygirlt34 says:

    :rofl: @ the Jermaine Dupri “slide in” Auntie you made me holler on that! I’ma :pray: for you! thatisALL *whoo Lord*

  6. 6
    ontaya brooks says:

    now everyone posting on all that other irrelevant bs and posts they really need to be reading and commenting on this help your children to have a healthy and productive life, the teeth are the first thing people see when they meet you.

  7. 7
    nevesnanna says:

    My daughter suffered from this (not to the extent of your photos), but my ex-husband took over the nighttime role of caring for our daughter. This country fool was putting kool-aid in her bottle because he was too lazy to warm the formula or milk. It took me a minute to figure out why she was so hyper in the morning, but I was thrown for a loop when her top two teeth started decaying. His dumb ass finally admitted to it and at the age of 2 my daughter was walking around with silver caps on her teeth. It took all I had not to knock his ass back to the trailer park where he came from.

  8. 8
    EricaDenese says:

    I know an adult whose teeth look exactly like this, and he doesn’t smoke… :hurl:

  9. 9
    EricaDenese says:

    nevesnanna Says:

    My daughter suffered from this (not to the extent of your photos), but my ex-husband took over the nighttime role of caring for our daughter. This country fool was putting kool-aid in her bottle because he was too lazy to warm the formula or milk. It took me a minute to figure out why she was so hyper in the morning, but I was thrown for a loop when her top two teeth started decaying. His dumb ass finally admitted to it and at the age of 2 my daughter was walking around with silver caps on her teeth. It took all I had not to knock his ass back to the trailer park where he came from
    __________________

    >:(

  10. 10
    EricaDenese says:

    >:(

  11. 11
    rjk8 says:

    Good Post. Good Info

  12. 12
    Zephyr1979 says:

    Healthy teeth are a big deal to me. As soon as a baby gets those first two teeth I believe you should wipe them with a clean towel dipped in plain water, especially at night and the next morning.

  13. 13
    Anna says:

    MissGauzzz Says:

    folks used to think it was strange when my son wouldn’t eat candy or other junk (every now and then he would eat but not often)…he is now 22 years old and has never had a cavity! his teeth are gorgeous!
    ~~~~~~~~
    Some things are genetics. I am 42 and have never had a cavity. My dad got his first cavity at 70.
    I went home for lunch yesterday and watched “The Doctors”. The only female on the show said that her(then) toddler had 4 proceline(sp) teeth. The women is a doctor why did her kid have false teeth as a child? :lol: They also did mention to wipe the babies gums w/a non floride toothpaste even before the teeth come in to get the formula off the gums. I see so many yuck mouth kids it’s pathetic.

  14. 14
    Anna says:

    Zephyr1979 Says:

    Healthy teeth are a big deal to me. As soon as a baby gets those first two teeth I believe you should wipe them with a clean towel dipped in plain water, especially at night and the next morning.
    ~~~~~~
    Yeppers.

  15. 15
    ohpretty1 says:

    I had to tell a cousin about allowing her child to go to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup. Her response: But he’ll cry. WTF?! To me, that just said she was lazy. You can’t tell people what to do with their kids (sarcasm).

  16. 16
    KaraZ says:

    “(or the baby teeth never fall out, such as in producer Jermaine Dupri’s case) ”

    :rofl: But why aunty? I can only imagine the breath that comes with these teeth.

  17. 17
    free says:

    bejeezus SR! you’re wrong for that. yahoo had an article this morning entitled “50 secrets from real dentists” that mentioned this, among other things.

    i’m proud to say i’ve never had a cavity and i only started going to the dentist once i got to college. the poor dentistry student got a real lesson in cleaning when she had to do my teeth. i’ve been going regularly (2-3 times/year) ever since and my child will go too.

  18. 18
    MissGauzzz says:

    @anna…oh ok! well my ex-husband (his daddy) has very good teeth, so i believe it’s a genetic thing now that you mention it! my teeth are very soft so i have to STAY at the dentist cause i can’t stand no yuck mouth!! especially when i see grown azz nicca’s with dental insurance but their mouth is horrible! that really makes me go in!

  19. 19
    Tyzgurl says:

    My cousin’s 3 year old son just had 4 of his teeth pulled because of this…..Can you imagine the trauma of getting your teeth pulled at that age? I had some pulled at 27 and they had to give me a sedative. And they just shot him up and numbed him because they couldn’t put him to sleep.

    Wait……..Maybe it’s because he is 3 and still sucks a bottle!!!!

    :nono:

  20. 20
    Anna says:

    Tyzgurl Says:

    My cousin’s 3 year old son just had 4 of his teeth pulled because of this…..Can you imagine the trauma of getting your teeth pulled at that age? I had some pulled at 27 and they had to give me a sedative. And they just shot him up and numbed him because they couldn’t put him to sleep.

    Wait……..Maybe it’s because he is 3 and still sucks a bottle!!!!
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Suri Crusie is 4 and still sucks a bottle. Not sure if she is potty trained yet. I sure would hope so.

  21. 21
    Tyzgurl says:

    @Anna

    I don’t think he is potty trained or even in the process of doing so…..
    But, you best believe his parents make sure he has all the name brand clothes on you can think of!!!! :rolleyes:

  22. 22
    Sunkissed404 says:

    I soooo can cosign this medical minute Sandra. I am a Nutritionist for the WIC program here in Atlanta…Trust me…I’ve seen it!

  23. 23
    Ms.Everything says:

    I like this Sandra. One of the first thing people called themselves “teaching” me when my oldest was a newborn was how to prop a bottle so I could put her down. I didn’t know about rot back then (I was 18 and knew NOTHING about babies, I never even changed a diaper til I had her) but it just seemed cruel and I was worried about her choking so I never did it. Later I learned about bottle rot and other things but I’m glad I never picked up the habit and my children were never dependant on a bottle or breast to sleep. I hate seeing people prop bottles and ill always take it out and if the baby is awake, sit down and feed him/her myself the right way while side eyeing the mama

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