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New Comparison of Commonly Consumed Fluids and Risk of Early Childhood Caries

October 13, 2005

Over the years, a great deal has been written in the popular press about the various fluids that infants consume and the possibility that some might cause early childhood caries, sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay. But a closer look at the medical literature shows that direct experimental evidence on the subject is still fairly sparse. In the October issue of the journal Pediatrics, NIDCR grantees compare the decay-causing qualities of cola, honey, cow milk (2% fat), human milk, and sucrose in water. The study is particularly interesting because the comparisons are drawn in a well-characterized, desalivated rodent model that mimics the effects of the bottle’s plastic nipple, which tends to block decay-protecting compounds in saliva from reaching many tooth surfaces. The rodents were all infected with the tooth-decay-causing bacterium, Streptococcus mutans.


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This page last updated: February 26, 2014