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Parents warned not to put a baby to bed with a bottle
Updated: 1/5/2012 7:00:00 PM

Parents warned not to put a baby to bed with a bottle  

Tooth decay is a problem that affects more children in the United States than any other infectious disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recently, The Chicago Tribune reported on a leading cause of this dental health issue - a baby's bottle.

When parents put their babies or young children to bed with a bottle filled with a sugary substance, whether it is juice, milk or even breast milk, they are increasing their child's risk of developing tooth decay.

The sugar in these substances feed the bacteria in the mouth, and contribute to dental problems. When a baby is left overnight with a bottle, then that bacteria continues to grow until the child's teeth are brushed the next morning.

"This disease is 100 percent preventable," said Indru Punwani, head of the pediatric dentistry department at the University of Illinois Medical Center, quoted by the news source. "Don't put the baby to bed with a bottle."

The Tribune adds that parents should share a spoon with their child, since bacteria from a mother or father's mouth can be passed on to the baby. 

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