Babies & Children - Vancouver Community Dental Health Program

Vancouver Public Health
Dental Health Program

Babies & Children

Healthy Habits

Daily Mouth Care for Babies
Be sure to wipe your baby’s gums every day with a clean, soft cloth. After baby’s teeth appear, clean them after breakfast and before bed each day, using a soft baby toothbrush and a tiny dab of fluoride toothpaste. Check teeth regularly for white or brown spots and call your dentist right away if you see any spots.

Bottles
After teeth begin to come in your baby should not go to bed with a bottle of anything except water. This is because milk, formula and juices contain sugars that can cause his or her teeth to decay. As soon as your baby can sit up for meals and snacks, begin teaching him or her to use a cup. It is best to completely wean your baby from the bottle to a cup between 12-18 months.

Foods, Drinks and Snacks
To promote strong teeth and prevent decay, refer to The Canada Food Guide to Healthy Living for great information on healthy foods and drinks for children.  Choose healthy snacks from at least two of the four food groups following Canada’s Guide for Healthy Living.  Limit snacking to only 2-3 times a day.  Change the type of snacks often.  If there is no choking hazard, offer raw vegetables or fresh fruit and cheese for snacks. Offer high carbohydrate snacks infrequently (once a week only) and rinse with water or brush after snacking. . Water is the best thing to drink between meals

For drinks even milk and 100% fruit juices contain sugar.  Constant sipping of anything other than water from a bottle such as at night or a training cup during the day can cause your child’s teeth to decay.  Milk is essential for a healthy diet.  Serve milk with meals.

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