It’s an exciting time when babies begin to teeth and they’re able to move away from purees and begin testing solid food. It can also be a bit nerve-wracking for parents as they try to figure out what’s safe to feed a baby, as well as what their child might enjoy eating.
Before you start experimenting, you’ll want to do some research to find out what you can safely feed a child that is new to eating solid foods, in order to avoid choking hazards. You should also be aware of the fact that some solids can be more detrimental to your baby’s oral health than others. Here are a few of the most tooth-friendly solids to try out on your child’s new chompers.
Fruits and Veggies
Small chunks of soft fruits and vegetables are a great place to start when it’s time to introduce your baby to solid foods. These items are not only soft enough to be gentle on your baby’s teeth and gums, but if he/she accidentally swallows a small piece, choking is unlikely. In addition, these natural foods are full of vitamins and minerals your baby needs. In some cases, as with oranges, figs, and a variety of green vegetables, babies will get a dose of calcium necessary for building strong bones and teeth.
Dairy is a great source of calcium, helping to strengthen growing teeth, so adding soft cheese to a baby’s diet only makes sense when you begin introducing solid food. There are other benefits, as well, though. Chewing on cheese increases saliva production, which helps to flush away food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum diseases. In addition, cheese can help to balance the mouth’s pH and reduce acidity that attacks tooth enamel. In other words, cheese is one of the best solid foods for babies to start with.
Items to Avoid
Common sense dictates avoiding items that are hard to chew and swallow, or that might hurt your baby’s sensitive teeth and gums. However, when you start introducing your little one to solid food, you should also stick to a diet that eschews added sugar. Fruits and veggies are okay, especially if you make sure to properly clean afterward, but processed sugars can do a lot of harm, not only to oral health, but overall health. If you’re not sure which solids are best for your tiny tot, speak with your dentist to ensure a diet that is healthy for your baby’s new teeth.