Diet

Dietary choices affect oral health as well as general health and well-being. Good dietary practices can be established by 12 months of age and are maintained through early childhood.4 Breast milk is superior in providing the best nutrition to infants.

Epidemiological research shows that human milk and breastfeeding of infants provide general health, nutritional, developmental, psychological, social, economic, and environmental advantages while significantly decreasing risk for a large number of acute and chronic diseases.

Breast milk is superior in providing the best possible nutrition to infants. Although breast milk may not cause caries by itself, it is cariogenic in combination with other foods that are high in carbohydrates.4

Teaching the parents/caregiver the following preventive measures can help reduce the incidence of disease.

  • Encourage young children to drink primarily water and plain milk.5
  • Limit 100% juice. Per 2017 AAP recommendations:
    • Parents should avoid giving any juice to children younger than 1 year of age
    • Children ages 1-3 years should have no more than 4 ounces a day
    • Children ages 4-6 should have no more than 4-6 ounces per day
  • Limit snacking (less than 3x per day)
  • Replace high carbohydrate snacks with cheese and protein snacks
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