Can drinking from a bottle cause decay? What can I do if my child won't go to sleep without a bottle?

Your child can get "early childhood caries" previously termed "bottle caries", which is decay affecting infants and toddlers who feed frequently through out the day and night from a bottle filled with either juice or milk. At night it's worse, as there is very little saliva produced so the liquid isn't diluted and washed away. The only safe drink at night is water. You can withdraw the bottle completely, and be prepared for a few restless nights, or dilute the juice or milk in the bottle wand slowly wean them off the bottle over a period of two weeks. Gently remove the bottle if your child falls asleep with the bottle in her mouth. Don't use the bottle when your baby can drink from a cup. A straw will minimise contact between the drink and the teeth.

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