Bottle-feeding babies for long periods of time could lead to them needing emergency dentistry later in life, one expert has warned.
Associate Professor Richard Widmer from the Children's Hospital in Sydney said he is seeing more cases of tooth decay than ever at present because parents are allowing infants to go to sleep with bottles in their mouths.
Explaining that the decay usually occurs on the backs of the front teeth, he added: "Some of the littlies are in pain. It is difficult some days."
Dr Anne Stewart from the Australian Dental Association said parents do not have to get rid of bottles altogether, but recommended that they should provide the baby with its milk and then remove the container to prevent a pool of liquid remaining in the mouth.
Last month, Health Day said in an article for US News and World Report that it is a good idea to wipe down a baby's gums with a gauze pad before any teeth emerge, as this will keep the mouth bacteria-free.