The time has finally arrived, and you are ready to start introducing solid foods into your baby's diet. In addition to choosing foods that are safe for your baby's developing stomach and sensitive digestive tract, you must also keep your baby's oral health in mind. Here are a few simple dos and don'ts to choosing the right baby foods that will support your growing infant's oral health.
Don't Start Your Baby on Solid Foods Too Early
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, most babies are ready to start consuming solid foods at around six months old. Starting solids before this time can be disruptive to your child's development, including oral development. This is especially true if you feed your baby foods high in sugar and carbohydrates or sticky or hard to consume, which can damage the sensitive, developing gums.
Do Avoid Sugary Treats and Baby Foods
As an adult, you avoid sugary foods to protect and promote oral health. The same holds true for your baby. Avoid foods and treats that are high in both sugar and carbohydrates, including natural sugars. Instead, stick to baby foods, vegetables, and occasional servings of fruit.
Check the ingredients on the baby of your baby foods. Avoid these foods if any form of sugar is high on the ingredients list. Instead, opt for foods that are labeled "low-sugar" or "sugar-free". Whenever possible, make your own baby food, as this will allow you to control the sugar content in the food.
Don't Forget to Brush Your Baby's Teeth and Gums
Regularly brushing your baby's teeth and gums is essential, especially after they begin eating solid foods. Use a washcloth or soft toothbrush designed for infants to wipe off your baby's gums gently. Clean your baby's teeth twice a day. Once the first tooth emerges, ask your dentist about the ideal type of toothbrush and toothpaste for your growing baby.
Do Choose Foods That Support Your Baby's Oral Health
Choose foods that are rich in the vitamins and minerals that will support your baby's oral health. For example, foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D, including soft cheeses, milk, and yogurt, are great ways for you to introduce your baby to new foods that are amazing for oral health.
From choosing foods that are low in sugar to introducing foods that support your baby's teeth and gums, there are several dos and don'ts to remember when introducing solid foods to your baby.
To find out more, contact a company like Dan Czapek, D.M.D.