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Bottlemouth Syndrome

Bottlemouth syndrome is a special form of tooth decay in very young children. It is caused by prolonged exposure to milk or sugary liquids. Children at risk for bottlemouth syndrome take bottles of milk or juice to bed at naptime and bedtime. They also carry sugary beverages or milk around during the day. It is most common in the upper front teeth. Children with bottlemouth syndrome often need oral surgery with general anesthesia.

What to Look For:

  • Red gums
  • Irritated mouth
  • Teeth that do not look normal

What You Should Do:

Parents or primary caregiver should:

  • Do not give your child a bottle of milk or juice (or any fluid containing sugar) at naptime, bedtime, or to carry around during the day. Only feed your child at specific meal and snack times.
  • Give your child water after a feeding to rinse sugary liquid off the teeth.
  • Give only water or don’t give a sleep-time bottle.

Other Caregivers Should:

  • Talk with parents about the need to have the child’s teeth examined by a medical provider.

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