My daughter was 2 and a half when we were forced to take the bottle away. On 2 June 2005, our daughter woke crying at 4am. When we checked on her, her face was completely swollen and her eyes were swollen shut. We rushed her to emergency where the doctors spent 8 hours trying to find out what was wrong with her. The facial surgeons were finally called and xrays were taken of her face. It was soon realized that her back molar was rotten and the bacteria had spread to her face causing an absist in her cheek and an infection in her eye. She went into theatre at 2am on the 3rd of June to remove the tooth and drain the absist. It was the scariest time of our lives. Everyday i have to use a syringe on her teeth and make sure they are cleaned properly. She has to go to the dentist every month to monitor her remaining teeth. We were told that this was caused from Jaida having a bottle before bed and the milk settling on her teeth. This was something that we could have prevented.
When we got home, we substituted her bottle for a dummy. We explained that the tooth fairy had taken away her bottle because she was becoming a big girl. In its place, the fairies left a dummy. People dont recommend this but it worked for us. Before she turned 3, we explained that the fairies would be coming back to take away her dummy and in exchange they would leave her a belly dancing costume (she loves belly dancing). The fairies have kept their word and my daughter says that dummies are for babies and dancing is for 3 year olds.
Hope this helped a little.
Mel, NSW, Jaida (21/11/02), Elysia (26/02/06)