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How To Prevent Tooth Decay in your Babies

Brenda Albano

September 5, 2019

A Life Time Of Dental Care


When Do You Start Cavity Prevention? As strange as this may sound, it’s very helpful to remember, when you are pregnant, your child’s teeth are beginning to form, under the gums. If you want to get your children off to a healthy start, eat sensibly during your pregnancy.

Children need to learn from the day they get a tooth, that a toothbrush is a “good thing”, and it is in our mouths many times each day. My children used a frozen toothbrush, or better yet, a carrot, as a teething ring. Your dentist can be your guide, but many parents will agree, when your child reaches the age of two, you may begin to teach them how to foss.

Always remember: never let go of the floss yourself, under any circumstances! And never let them swallow toothpaste, you may do a search and find my article, “Toothpaste, What Are You Swallowing?”

In addition to brushing and flossing, a good diet protects teeth from decay and keeps the gums healthy. Tooth decay and gum disease, are caused by bacteria that coats the teeth. This sticky film is called plaque. If it is not brushed away, the bacteria break down the sugars and starches in your food, which produces acids that wear down the tooth enamel. Plaque also hardens into tartar. This can lead to gum inflammation or gingivitis. A properly balanced diet provides the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to the body, for healthy teeth and gums.

When Do You Start Cavity Prevention? As strange as this may sound, it’s very helpful to remember, when you are pregnant, your child’s teeth are beginning to form, under the gums. If you want to get your children off to a healthy start, eat sensibly during your pregnancy. Here are some very important guidelines to follow.

  • Calcium helps to form strong teeth and bones.
  • Vitamin D is needed by the body in order to absorb calcium.
  • Low-fat dairy products, canned fish (such as sardines or salmon consumed with the bones), and dark green leafy vegetables, and yogurt, are all excellent sources of calcium.
  • Vitamin D is obtained from egg yolks, fortified dairy products, and moderate exposure to the sun.

There has been talk of related health risks in association with fluoride, but it seems to be the general consensus the good in using it to prevent cavities, outweigh the bad. You have to be your own judge here. Pediatricians usually recommend fluoride supplements for babies. To a large extent, dental cavities can be prevented, by giving children fluoride in the first few years of life. Adults also benefit from fluoride, whether it be the amount provided in the water or in fluoridated toothpaste is usually adequate

In addition to calcium and fluoride, minerals needed for the formation of tooth enamel include phosphorus, which can be supplied through meat, fish, and eggs. Magnesium found in whole grains, spinach, and bananas. Vitamin A also helps build strong bones and teeth. Good sources of beta-carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A, include orange-colored fruits and vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables. Children are particularly vulnerable to tooth decay; parents should provide a good diet throughout childhood, brush children’s teeth until they’re mature enough to do a thorough job by themselves, (usually by 5-6 years old), and supervise two to three brushings per day, with one (or more if needed) flossing. Always be extra gentle on children’s gums with the floss. Parents should never put babies or toddlers to bed with a bottle of milk (which contains the natural sugar lactose), juice, or other sweet drink, nor should they dip pacifiers in honey or syrup. This will only lead to decay and bad habits.

Read more about mouth disorders, and helpful hints, including, Candy, Does It Really Rot Your Teeth?

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