5 Things Parents Can Do To Care For Their Baby's Teeth
1. Use xylitol gum or mints
This is the easiest and most important thing a parent can do for their baby's teeth.
Children of parents who chew xylitol gum are less likely to have cavities.
This study (link) found that when mothers used xylitol gum during pregnancy their children had 70% less cavities at the age of 5-years-old compared to children whose parents did not use xylitol gum.
2. See the dentist yourself
As parents we pass the bacteria in our mouth on to our babies.
Most of the bacteria we have are wonderful, healthy bacteria, but some of them are not good.
A dentist can help make sure your mouth is in tip top shape for your baby.
3. Start cleaning your baby’s mouth
Before your baby has teeth you can massage/clean their gums with a clean damp washcloth or a silicone teether brush.
Once your baby has teeth trade the teether/washcloth for a real toothbrush.
Use xylitol gel (link) to make it yummy and promote healthy bacteria.
Always use two hands when cleaning their mouth. One hand holds the brush/washcloth the other helps move the lips, cheeks and tongue around for better access
This does two things:
4. Introduce whole real foods
It’s incredible to see your baby’s face light up when they try a new food.
Use a food grinder (link) to mash up the healthy real food that you are eating. This will ensure two things:
They are getting adequate nutrients that are not filled with synthetic compounds, preservatives or dangerously high sugar/starch content.
5. Develop your baby’s palate appropriately.
Studies (link) show that the taste perception is plastic and when children are fed a high sugar diet their perception of taste is altered. Giving whole real foods will appropriately set your baby’s taste meter to enjoy nutritious food the rest of their life.
Drink water (you and your child)
When your baby is 6-months old they can start drinking things other than breast milk or formula, this is when water is introduced.
Water promotes a healthy mouth by improving saliva quantity and quality, washing away food debris and promoting beneficial bacteria.
Always fill your child’s water bottle/sippy cup up with water (never juice).
Thank you for reading! At Milk Tooth Pediatric Dentistry & Wellness Shoppe our patients health is our number one priority.
Let us know what questions you have!