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jca's avatar

Do you know of any instances where a toddler did not give up drinking from a baby bottle and as a result needed orthodontia?

Asked by jca (28392 points ) February 19th, 2010

I always hear that if babies are not weaned from the baby bottle they will need braces or have a misshapen palate. other parents have told me their kids drank from the bottle long after it was recommended they stop, and the kid suffered no adverse affects. The pediatrician recommends the baby stopping the bottle at 12 months. I’m wondering if anybody has any experience with babies needing orthodontia from not being weaned off a bottle? I am aware that sleeping with the baby bottle can cause cavities and rotten teeth.

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8 Answers

casheroo's avatar

I don’t think you can prove it, unless it is something they need immediately. Most children don’t get braces until their adult teeth come in. And that usually has most to do with genetics more than if you used a bottle past the major age of 12 months.

My son just stopped using a bottle at 26 months. His teeth are fine. He saw a dentist, and her prediction was that his bottom teeth wouldn’t need braces, because of great spacing, but he already has tight spacing with his top teeth. Both my husband and I had braces, and our son seems to have my upper teeth (his two front teeth are identical to mine..one semi overlaps the other, even with braces, I never wore my retainer.) So, we know we’re doomed to kids needing braces.

I talk on a lot of forums with parents. Most people whose kids need extensive dental work have been told it’s just crappy luck. None of them let their kids eat tons of junk, but some kids are more susceptible to bacteria that gives cavities.

Rarebear's avatar

No, but I’ve seen a lot of dental caries from not stopping a baby bottle. Ear infections, too.

faye's avatar

My daughter had her bottle with water in it until she was close to two. She did need orthodontia. If she was my only child I’d be gungho about the bottle. But I have two other children who didn’t have bottles late and also needed orthodontia.

CaptainHarley's avatar

No, but I do know of one whose parents never made her stop sucking her thumb and who later had to have extensive dental work because of it.

Merriment's avatar

I think that thumb sucking is really more of a concern than the bottle.

This is because the nipples of bottles and/or pacifiers, in addition to being molded “orthodontically” friendly these days, are also very soft and collapsible. Not so with the gradually hardening bones of the thumb.

Really though there is no reason for a toddler to still be using a bottle other than they have come to view it as a “comfort” item and parents are often reluctant to see their “baby” grow up so they don’t take the small steps necessary to remove the habit.

casheroo's avatar

@Merriment Breastfeeding is recommended until age 2. I see bottle feeding as similar to breastfeeding, even if it doesn’t have the same nutritious benefits. But, one is looked down upon and the other isn’t.

Cruiser's avatar

IMO thumb sucking is the bigger issue that affect the teeth.

Merriment's avatar

@casheroo – I breastfed my babies until around 18 months. At that time they were down to a single breastfeeding at night. They did it for the same reason a toddler who has access to a bottle will. Because it is comforting. They are not relying on it for nutrition at that point.

By the age 1½ or two most toddlers are far to busy exploring to want to sit in your lap and nurse all the time…so they naturally wean themselves. Not so with the toddler that can carry his bottle around with him. Of course he can only carry it around with him if the parents continue to fill it and make it available. So no natural weaning takes place.

To wean him off the bottle all they have to do is insist that the toddler sit in their lap to have his bottle…and they will quickly see that he isn’t all that into it anymore. Hand him a sippy cup for his mobile drinking pleasure, save the bottle for lap time and the baby will wean himself.

I don’t see one as worse than the other. Nor do I think it’s a horrible thing for a toddler to cruise around with a bottle. Just that if someone is growing concerned about possible effects on their baby’s emerging teeth they can easily eliminate that worry.

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