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Baby Bottles & Water: It’s Complicated

Posted on August 13th, 2022

Michael Colleran DDS wants to tackle the issue of babies and water intake in today’s blog. Of course, water is the healthiest beverage available for kids and adults, particularly when it comes to oral hygiene, but in babies less than six months of age, water is a no-no.  

Until babies are six months old, they have a liquid diet of formula or breast milk. Both of those are made up of 80-90% water, providing plenty of hydration and nutrition as long as they remain undiluted. Water intake for infants is detrimental because it makes them feel full, interfering with proper nutrient intake and healthy weight gain. 

Once a baby is six months old, they can have small sips (a few tablespoons) of water, but caregivers should still use caution until kids are at least a year old. At that time, it is safe to give a quarter- to half-cup of water to your little one because they will be eating solid food. Whether your baby is breastfed, bottle-fed, or has graduated to solids, their gums and new teeth should be wiped with a wet washcloth or gently brushed after each feeding and before going to bed. 

Putting only water in their bottles (but not before six months, and not too much!) between feedings is the best practice for your baby’s oral health. This will not help prevent acidic buildup that would otherwise lead to baby bottle tooth decay, which can happen when babies are put to bed with a bottle of milk.

If you have more questions about baby bottle tooth decay, pediatric dentistry or your baby’s first teeth, contact Michael Colleran DDS and schedule an appointment to talk to Dr. Colleran today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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About Dr. Colleran

Dr. Colleran is a nationally renowned dental author and lecturer and an expert on laser dentistry. He has spoken across the country on laser dentistry and had articles appear in several professional journals. He is also sought after by dental manufacturers as a consultant for product evaluation and research. Dr. Colleran is an instructor for the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry, which teaches LANAP and other laser dental procedures to dentists from across the globe.