Ok so you’ve just had a baby, and that’s been a bit of a life changer to say the least… Finally, you feel like you’re starting to get the hang of it. Then BAM! Six months on, you‘re thinking about introducing solids, and you’re being kept awake all night listening to the call of the tiny people aka TEETHING! (Ok maybe that’s just me). I wish I had more advice for how to deal with the torture that is teething, but they don’t teach us that at Dental School, just about what to do with them when they finally grace us with their presence! 🤦🏼♀️ Happy Tums have amazing advice for how to introduce nutrition to your little ones and maintain a balanced lifestyle. This advice is totally invaluable to me as a new parent. Hopefully, this is helpful information for you too…
Most solid foods will have some sort of sugar in them and tooth decay (cavities) can happen when bacteria, existing naturally in the mouth, gets to feed off sweet food or drinks. As the bacteria form sticky plaques on the teeth they produce acids, which makes the tooth enamel weaker. Lots of popular drinks – including soft drinks and fruit juices – are acidic and have been shown to make the teeth weaker. Weakened enamel is more susceptible to irreversible erosion (further acid attacks), cavities and pain.
As adults, we fall into bad habits easily but babies and toddlers rely on us to keep their routines in check. Try to remember to avoid putting anything other than breastmilk or formula in a baby bottle, if bottle feeding. Doing so can lead to extensive tooth decay. Starting on a sippy cup or doidy cup from 6 months is very helpful as it teaches some independence and they can have a good gnaw on the plastic with their new chompers. Again, only breastmilk, formula or water for those under 1 year old.
Supermarkets have lots of unnecessary baby juices available. The truth is the ONLY drinks which are healthy for teeth are UNFLAVOURED milk and water. The vast majority of baby drinks contain sugar and additional acid. On average 125ml of made up baby juice contains 4 teaspoons of sugar! Avoid energy or sports drinks, fizzy drinks, smoothies or flavoured juice or milk drinks for all children to give them the healthiest start when it comes to their overall and dental health.
The list below illustrates how much sugar is in the average 125ml of drink:
Blackcurrant cordial – 6 teaspoons
Apple juice – 5 teaspoons
Apple and rosehip – 5 teaspoons
Orange and chamomile – 5 teaspoons
Pear and peach – 4 teaspoons
Apple and blackcurrant – 4 teaspoons
Apple and orange – 3 teaspoons
Summer fruit – 2 teaspoons
Drinking chocolate – 2 teaspoons
Don’t fret though, you got this. And if you do need further advice just pop along to your local dentist for your child’s routine check up and ask any questions you might have! We love to chat about teeth.
Dr Rachel White 🦷 😍