Updated: Mar 16
Use xylitol gum or mints
This is the easiest and most important thing a parent can do for their baby's teeth.
Children of parents who chew xylitol gum are less likely to have cavities.
This study (link) found that when mothers used xylitol gum during pregnancy, their children had 70% fewer cavities at the age of 5 years old compared to children whose parents did not use xylitol gum.
See the dentist yourself
As parents, we pass the bacteria in our mouths on to our babies.
Most of the bacteria we have are wonderful, healthy bacteria, but some of them are not good.
A dentist can help make sure your mouth is in tip-top shape for your baby.
Start cleaning your baby’s mouth
Before your baby has teeth, you can massage/clean their gums with a clean damp washcloth or a silicone teether brush.
Once your baby has teeth, ditch the teether/washcloth for a real toothbrush.
Use xylitol gel (link) to make it yummy and promote healthy bacteria.
Always use two hands when cleaning their mouth. One hand holds the brush/washcloth; the other helps move the lips, cheeks, and tongue around for better access
This does two things:
Promotes healthy bacteria by using xylitol
Gets you and your baby used to how to clean their mouth
Introduce whole real foods
It’s incredible to see your baby’s face light up when they try a new food.
Use a food grinder (link) to mash up the healthy real food that you are eating. This will ensure two things:
They are getting adequate nutrients that are not filled with synthetic compounds, preservatives, or dangerously high sugar/starch content.
Develop your baby’s palate appropriately.
Studies (link) show that taste perception is plastic, and when children are fed a high-sugar diet, their perception of taste is altered. Giving whole real foods will appropriately set your baby’s taste meter to enjoy nutritious food for the rest of their life.
Drink water (you and your child)
When your baby is 6 months old, they can start drinking things other than breast milk or formula, this is when water is introduced.
Water promotes a healthy mouth by improving saliva quantity and quality, washing away food debris, and promoting beneficial bacteria.
Always fill your child’s water bottle/sippy cup up with water (never juice).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Quinn Yost, DDS, MSD, received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of California Los Angeles. He completed a Pediatric Dental Residency at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital, where he graduated as chief resident. His research on providing dental care to children on the autism spectrum was published in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He is a certified laser dentist and uses the technology to provide tongue-tie and lip-tie releases, as well as anesthesia free (no numbing) dental procedures. Dr. Quinn’s curiosity to create optimal health has led him to the formation of a practice called Milk Tooth Pediatric Dentistry and Wellness Shoppe. Using a collaboration of science, nutrition, oral care habits, and modern technologies, Milk Tooth aims to use cutting-edge treatments paired with teaching to eliminate a child’s cavities for life.