Why is a bottle at bed time a bad idea? - ABC Dentistry
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Why is a bottle at bed time a bad idea?

Our teeth are protected through the day by saliva in the mouth. Saliva is a comples mix of water, ions and other immune system elements that helps to preserve health in the mouth. Through the day it neutralizes acids that are created after we have a mouthful of something sweet. During sleep that saliva does not flow, and the acids that are created in the mouth are able to freely break down tooth structure as they are not being diluted by saliva.

If you would like to give your baby something at night make sure it is water. Water is the only neutral drink (it won’t dissolve tooth structure) and can be given freely. All other liquids can contribute to the breakdown of tooth structure. The best idea is to stop the bottle at night completely. This can be done by either taking the bottle away completely (with a few restless nights for the family) or gradually diluting the liquid in the bottle until it is just water (generally over a period of 10 – 14 days).

A bottle at bed time is one of the main causes of Early Childhood Caries (ECC). ECC was once called “bottle caries” but we now are aware that the bottle is not the only risk factor for ECC.

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