Baby and toddler oral health tips

From the time your children are babies, you need to establish a good oral health routine for them. Ensure your baby or toddler develops a beautiful, healthy smile by applying our top 8 oral health tips.

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1. Babies benefit most from breastfeeding

Breast milk and infant formula provide all the nourishment your baby needs during the first 6 months of his or her life. Taking your baby off the breast or bottle after feeding is important.

2. Bottles should not be used to put your baby to sleep

Some milk remains in babies’ mouths and on their teeth when they fall asleep with a bottle. It’s recommended that they don’t take the bottle to bed because it can cause tooth decay and increase the risk of choking and ear infections.

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3. From the age of 6 months, introduce a cup

It is normal for your baby to progress from drinking from a bottle to a cup between the ages of 6 and 12 months. Toddlers should drink only from cups once they reach 12 months of age.

4. Toddlers should drink water

Make sure your toddler drinks tap water throughout the day, as it is the best drink for them. It is recommended to boil and cool tap water for babies under 12 months old before they drink it.

Fluoridated tap water is available in Shepparton and most of Victoria, which helps prevent tooth decay. Fluoride isn’t commonly found in most store-bought bottled water.

5. A healthy drink option is plain milk

Keeping teeth healthy and strong is possible with milk, which is a good source of calcium. A child aged 1 to 2 years can drink plain full fat cow’s milk while babies under 12 months should drink breast milk or infant formula.It is safe to give low-fat milk to a child after the age of two. Sugar can contribute to tooth decay when added to flavoured milk.

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6. Fruit juice and sweet drinks are not necessary for babies and toddlers

The consumption of fruit juices and sweet drinks is not recommended for children under 12 months of age because they can lead to tooth decay. It is important to keep in mind that even fruit juices with ‘no added sugar’ still contain natural sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. In addition, diet soft drinks contain acids that damage teeth.

Soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, cordials, tea drinks, fruit drinks, and energy drinks are sweet drinks to avoid.

7. Keeping your teeth healthy requires healthy meals and snacks

The diet of a child should include a wide variety of healthy foods from the age of 12 months. It is important to set a good example and create healthy habits for children by watching their parents and other family members eat.

Interestingly, babies do not prefer sweetness. Sugar is present in many common foods, so consuming sweet foods and drinks regularly causes them to become accustomed to it.

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8. If your baby has teeth, start cleaning them as soon as possible

Your baby’s teeth can be cleaned as they erupt by wiping them with a soft cloth or brushing them with a small toothbrush. When your child is 18 months old, you can begin brushing his or her teeth with a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste. After brushing, encourage them to spit out the toothpaste without rinsing.

It is recommended that children brush their teeth twice a day until they are seven or eight years old with the assistance of an adult.


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