Introducing solids into your child’s diet for the first time is so exciting. It’s fun to watch their faces as they try new foods with new flavors they’ve never had, even if cleaning them up after isn’t quite as fun. Whether your child has teeth or not when you start introducing new foods(around six months is the recommended age to begin slowly introducing solids), it’s important to keep their oral hygiene in mind.
Pick foods that promote gum health
Since your baby probably doesn’t have teeth, it’s okay to be more focused on foods that are good for their gums, since you’ll want to be keeping those healthy.
Sweet potatoes are a really great food for your baby. It has a lot of Vitamin A, which is great for healthy teeth and gums. Vitamin A helps maintain the mucous membrane and soft tissue in the gums and helps with developing tooth enamel.
Avocados are another great starter vegetable for babies. Avocados are incredibly nutrient dense. They have Vitamin B, which prevents gum disease. Vitamin C boosts overall gum health, and the folate in avocados helps repair anything within the mouth(especially anything caused by gum disease).
Winter Squash is a fun family of vegetables to start feeding your child. These squashes include acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and calabaza. This squash family contains tons of vitamins and minerals that promote gum health. Each of these squash are high in calcium, which we all know helps strengthen teeth and fight gum disease. They’re also all high in Vitamin C, which is great for overall oral health. The best way to feed winter squash to your baby is to halve the squash, and then roast it in the oven until it’s soft. Then, give them a few scoops of the softened squash.
Start good habits now
Even though your child doesn’t have teeth, it’s a good idea to introduce them to a toothbrush. Instead of getting a traditional toothbrush, get them a toothbrush with silicone bristles. These won’t hurt their sensitive gums. These bristles will feel amazing for them to gnaw and chew on when they’re teething, which is an added bonus. The toothbrush will get them used to the idea of you helping them brush their teeth every night, so that way when they do start getting teeth, they won’t fight you when it’s bedtime and you bring out the toothbrush.