Child care providers can help support good dental health in young children. Bottles should be used only for feeding, not as a pacifier or for comfort. Allowing infants to have unlimited access to a bottle of milk, formula, or juice, or a sweetened pacifier will cause tooth decay.
Baby bottle tooth decay is often painful and can damage all of a child’s primary teeth. Severe toothaches, cavities, loss of teeth, crooked permanent teeth and possible ear and speech problems can occur. The damage can be so severe that hospitalization may be necessary.
Prevent baby bottle tooth decay by setting up specific feeding policies for infants and toddlers in your child care program. Use these rules as guidelines.
To learn more about infant feeding and dental health in child care, check out the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care articles: