Food and drink containing sugar given frequently can cause tooth decay. It is important not to encourage a ‘sweet tooth’ in children.

  1. Brush children’s teeth twice daily with a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
  2. Check labels for sugar: including glucose, lactose, glucose syrup, fructose, concentrated fruit juice, sucrose, dextrose, honey, invert sugar, maltose, hydrolysed starch. (Many food products labelled “healthy, low sugar, no added sugar or herbal” may still contain sugar.)
  3. Milk: breast or formula for under 12 months, whole cow’s milk onwards.
  4. Drinks: water or milk are the safest. Occasionally diluted fruit juice at mealtimes (diluted one part pure fruit juice to ten parts of cooled boiled water).
  5. Avoid sweetened drinks or confine them to mealtimes only.
  6. Encourage your baby to drink from a cup as soon as they can hold one, discourage bottle feeding after 12 months.
  7. Drinks containing sugar are more likely to cause decay if given at bedtime, during the night, as comforters, for long periods.
  8. From about 4 months home made solid foods may be introduced, e.g. pureed vegetables, fruit or pure baby rice. Do not add sugar. If offering dessert, do this as part of a meal.
  9. The first milk tooth usually breaks through between 6 and 12 months. Biting on a hard object, such as a teething ring, may help relieve pain. If you need to give Paracetamol, always ask for sugar free.
  10. Always ask the doctor or pharmacist for sugar free medicines.