Optimal Diets for Infants
Healthy nutrition for kids starts early. In accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines, breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of life has been shown to have many beneficial effects for children. The AAP recommendation is for continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced for 1 yr or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827.full#content-block
Optimal Diets for Preschoolers and Beyond
It’s important to help establish good eating habits early for kids. Eating a variety of foods from the five major food groups is a great way to ensure optimal nutrition:
- Grains, breads, cereals
- Milk, cheese, yogurt
- Meat, poultry, fish and/or alternatives such as beans, peas, and nuts
Toothbrushing for Infants & Children
Oral hygiene starts as early as a child is born. Even before teeth are present, it is beneficial to wipe a child’s gums with a wet washcloth after every feeding. As teeth erupt it is best to switch to a soft bristle toothbrush. Brushing or wiping a child’s teeth before naps and bedtime is especially important.
Parents will likely need to assist children with brushing and flossing till children are 6+ years old. One approach is to allow children the opportunity to brush their teeth first. A parent can then do a thorough follow-up brushing. Establishing brushing habits early can lead to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Using an appropriate child-sized toothbrush can improve toothbrushing success. There are many toothbrush colors and styles available. As the old dental adage goes, “the best toothbrush is the one that will be used” J
When assisting children with brushing, it may be beneficial to stand behind the child. Optimal brushing technique removes the tooth film (plaque) from inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of teeth. Brushing the tongue can also be used to improve a child’s breath.
The next blog will discuss flossing and fluoride. Please contact our office with any questions and for your free infant dental kit. We are located in Bloomington near the College Mall, next to Goodwill.
Matthew L. Rasche DDS, MSD
Certified, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
Southern Indiana Pediatric Dentistry
(812) 333-KIDS (5437)