Tooth Decay. It doesn't take long for our mouths to be colonized with a bacteria called streptococcus mutans. This is the bacteria most responsible for dental caries or cavities. When infants who have teeth go to bed with a bottle of milk it feeds this bacteria with the sugar in the formula or milk causing it to release a substance called glucan. Glucan is very sticky and causes tooth decay and cavities.
The American Academy. of Pediatrics advises that 1-year-olds: See a pediatric dentist. Change from formula to whole milk. Limit milk + milk products to 16-21 oz./day. No juice is needed; limit 100% fruit juice to 4 oz./day. Drink milk or juice from an open-mouth cup with sit-down meals/snacks. Drink water between meals.Brush teeth with a grain-of-rice-size smear of fluoride toothpaste 2x/day after meals & before bed. .
Nursng bottle caries. The big concern about bottle use in infants is the damage that can be done to developing teeth between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. The biggest problem occurs if the infant is allowed to fall asleep with a bottle in his/her mouth that contains a sugar solution. There is no problem with plain water. The sugar solution initiates caries and can totally destroy all the front teeth.