Vitamins and good nutrition are very important during pregnancy and infancy to help enamel fully develop.

Take folic acid during pregnancy to minimize the risk of cleft lip and palate.

White spots on teeth are usually a sign of poor nutrition and lack of vitamins.

On average the first tooth erupts at approximately 7 months of age and at every 4 months another 4 teeth erupt until around age 2, there are 20 teeth present.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of children aged 6-19 years of age (according to the CDC).

Do not put the infant to bed or nap with a bottle full of juice or milk. This can cause rampant decay.

Use water instead.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that drinking 100 percent fruit juice be banned entirely from a baby’s diet during the first year. The concern is that juice offers no nutritional benefits early in life, and can take the place of what babies really need: breast milk or formula and their protein.

Fruit juice is NOT equivalent to actual fruit. Whole fruit is less of a pure sugar intake and typically has more fiber making it less likely to cause tooth decay and increases fullness. Fruit juice should only be offered on special occasions, especially for kids who are at high-risk for tooth decay.

• Four ounces of apple juice has NO fiber, 60 calories and 13 grams of sugar.
• A half cup of apple slices has 1.5 grams of fiber, 30 calories and 5.5 grams of sugar.

Guidelines for juice intake by age:
• 1-3 year olds 4 ounces per day
• 4-6 year olds 6 ounces per day
• 7-18 year olds 8 ounces per day

Pacifier use should end by age 2, thumb sucking should end by age 4. Both habits can cause malformation of the jaw.

Bacteria (strep mutans) that cause a tooth decay generally come from the mother.

It is important to restore baby teeth:
1. They maintain the space for the permanent teeth to erupt.
2. They can abscess and damage the permanent teeth developing below them.
3. Can cause pain.

Prevention:
• Start brushing infants’ teeth as soon as they erupt.
• Fluoride supplements make the teeth stronger and more resistant to decay.
• Sealants which are bonded coatings placed on the biting surfaces helps to prevent cavities.