· Parents should not put children to sleep with a bottle containing any liquid other than water. Parents should encourage their infants to begin drinking from a cup around their first birthday.
· Parents should help brush their children’s teeth every day, after every meal.
· Parents should not let their children drink fruit juice or sweetened drinks from a bottle or “sippy” cup, since this prolongs the exposure of teeth to harmful sugar.
· Parents should provide healthy, balanced meals for children. They should limit the amount of sugar-laden foods and snacks in their diet. Plenty of healthy snacks should be available for children. Cheese products actually fight dental caries.
· Parents can help make children’s teeth more decay-resistant by using an ADA-approved children’s toothpaste.
· Children taking oral medications should have their teeth cleansed after each dose of medication. Nearly 100% of children’s medications contain sucrose, which can increase the risk of developing dental caries.
· Children should have their first oral/dental health evaluation by the age of 12 months, or within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth.
· Parents should consider providing children with xylitol-containing chewing gum, which can help prevent dental caries.