Decay can start soon after the baby teeth erupt in the mouth. This decay in infants results from long-term exposure to liquids containing sugars. Among these liquids are milk, formula, fruit juice and sweetened drinks.

To avoid decay in infants:

  • Don’t encourage on demand feeding and never allow a child to fall asleep with a bottle of milk/formula/juice
  • Don’t dip a soother in sugar/honey/sweetened drinks
  • When a baby starts feeding, encourage savoury foods and with any ready-prepared foods or processed foods, always read the label for any added sugars.

Carefully monitor your child’s food and drinks for any added sugars. The frequency of sugary foods is more important than the amount. Replace sugary snacks with alternatives such as carrot sticks, apples, nuts, cheese, crackers, popcorn (popcorn is usually safe from the age of 5). Fruits contain natural sugars but these sugars are less damaging than added sugars. So fruit in moderation should be part of their healthy diet.

Milk or hard cheese after a meal will help neutralise sugars or acids.

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