Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Baby bottle tooth decay or early childhood cavities is caused by allowing infants to drink from a bottle of juice or milk for long periods of time. Tooth decay caused by baby bottles is preventable. It causes pain and infection. The disease begins between one and three years of age. To help prevent baby bottle tooth decay follow these easy steps: Never put your baby to bed with a bottle. If a bottle is their pacifier, use only water in the bottle. Babies who drink bottles lying down may have more ear infections. Only give your baby a bottle during meals. Teach your child to drink from a cup as soon as possible or by 1 year of age. Keep your baby’s mouth clean by using gauze or a baby toothbrush after feedings. Use water and a soft children’s toothbrush for daily cleaning once your child has teeth. Take your child to the dentist! First visit by first birthday.