A Guide for Use in the Child Nutrition Programs 39
40 Feeding Infants
Photographs courtesy of: Dr. Norman Tinanoff, DDS, MS, Professor, University of Connecticut Health Center, School of Dental
Medicine, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Farmington, Connecticut
Photograph of healthy teeth
Photographs below show teeth with mild to severe cases of early childhood caries
Examples of Healthy Teeth and
Early Childhood Caries
(or Baby Bottle Tooth Decay)
A Guide for Use in the Child Nutrition Programs 41
aby bottle tooth decay, or early childhood caries, can occur
• Babies with teeth are regularly allowed to fall asleep with a bottle
in their mouths. Less saliva is made in the mouth when a baby
falls asleep, and liquid from the bottle can pool around the teeth.
• Babies are allowed to drink from a bottle (containing juice, sweet
liquids, or formula) for long periods.
The sugar in juice, sweet liquids, and formula are used by bacteria
in the mouth to produce acids which can cause serious tooth decay.
See the photographs on the opposite page of healthy teeth and teeth
with baby bottle tooth decay. To prevent tooth decay in babies:
• Feed only breastmilk or formula from a bottle.
• Do not feed juice from a bottle.
• Offer the bottle only at feeding time, not at nap time. If a baby
falls asleep during feeding, move the baby around a bit to
stimulate swallowing before putting the baby down to sleep.
• Do not leave a bottle in a baby’s crib or playpen or prop bottles.
• Only give a baby a plain clean pacifier. Never give a baby a pacifier
dipped in honey, syrup, sugar, or other sweet substance.
• Do not put water sweetened with honey, sugar, or corn syrup;
soda pop; sweetened iced tea; sports drinks; sweetened
gelatin water; juice drinks; or other sweetened drinks in the bottle
• Do not use a bottle of cold juice to soothe a teething baby’s gums.
Instead, offer a clean favorite rattle or teething ring that has been
cooled in the refrigerator (not the freezer).
• Provide juice only in a cup (do not feed