Baby teeth and gums need extra attention when your little one begins solid foods. Always wipe and gently brush after feedings and make the best food selections for body and oral health. Do you know which foods dentists recommend at such an early age?
Best foods for baby teeth
By 4 to 6 months of age, most babies are ready to begin eating solid foods. Solid foods should complement formula or breast milk, which will remain baby’s main nutrition source for a while. When baby begins a solid food diet, busy parents often look for convenience. While that is understandable, it is also important to think about baby’s oral health. Some foods are better than others.
Start simple when introducing solid foods. Baby cereal is the best first step, because you can thin it out with formula or breast milk at first, and gradually thicken by using less liquid every few times he or she eats. Look for single-grain, iron-fortified cereals.
Dentists recommend baby food made from whole fruits and vegetables. These are easy to feed when just starting out. Also, these choices are best for brand new baby teeth and gums.
Squash is a vegetable rich in vitamins and calcium that promote oral health. Cooked and pureed butternut and acorn squash are popular for baby food. In addition, this squash family is rich in vitamin C. This vitamin boosts overall gum health.
Sweet potatoes have a high amount of vitamin A. This vitamin helps maintain the soft tissue in gums and encourages the body to produce keratin. Keratin is a protein vital to the production of tooth enamel. Sweet potatoes also have a sweet flavor and are a favorite for most babies.
Babies like bananas because they are smooth, sweet and delicious. Dentists recommend bananas for baby teeth also, because they are high in vitamin C and fiber. However, bananas do contain sugar, so it is important to give baby water to drink and gently wipe or brush his or her teeth and gums after eating.
Babies usually get used to eating pureed foods within a few months. Introduce very small table foods around 8-11 months. Tiny pieces of cooked soft vegetables are a great choice for nutrition and the health of the baby teeth and gums. Even though baby teeth fall out, it is important that you take care of them with food choices and proper cleaning.