There are many people out there that will advise you about which products are safe for babies. In fact, you may be receiving so much advice that you aren’t sure which bit of advice is true and which you can push to the wayside. As your baby begins teething, you may be concerned about what kinds of cups, bottles, pacifiers, or teethers are okay for their dental development. While it’s true that some of these products can harm a baby’s teeth, there is a lot of confusion surrounding this topic. Our team at Discovery Kids Pediatric Dentistry is here to set the record straight!
Bottles and Your Baby
Many babies begin using bottles from the moment they are born. Whether they are breastfed or formula-fed, bottles are used to give your baby the nutrition they need to keep growing and thriving. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bottles on the market and not all are created equal.
The main concern with bottles actually has nothing to do with your baby’s teeth! The chemicals used in modern plastics contain many different chemicals, some more harmful than others. Most recently, bottles with BPA (Bisphenol A, a highly toxic chemical compound primarily used in the manufacturing of various plastics) have been removed from store shelves, which is great news! The bad news is that you can still purchase these, so it is up to you to educate yourself on which products contain BPA and avoid them. Other chemicals used in the manufacturing of plastics can be harmful as well, so do the research – if at all possible, buy glass bottles from a trusted source (Dr. Browns is a great option).
As your baby gets older, the possibility of tooth decay increases. Dentists recommend that your baby start using a regular cup (even a sippy cup sans nipple) by the age of one. This is because bottles can start pushing your baby’s teeth forward as they suck on them, causing their teeth to grow at awkward angles and increasing the possibility of needing intervention. The real risk of tooth decay, however, comes from what you put in the bottle. Avoid sugary drinks like sugar or chocolate milk, even honey water, as the sugar content will begin to damage their teeth.
The Age of One
Year one is a huge milestone for a baby for many reasons. One reason we love age one as dentists is because it is when we recommend scheduling their first dental visit! It is also when your baby should be drinking from cups/sippy cups and they should be weaned from pacifiers by this point as well. If you have questions about the best products for your baby’s teeth or concerns about signs of early tooth decay, please contact us right away. We would love to care for your baby.