Richmond pediatric dentist Dr. Malije Onwueme wants to tackle the issue of babies and water intake in today’s blog. Of course, water is the healthiest beverage available for kids and adults, particularly when it comes to oral hygiene, but in babies less than six months of age, water is a no-no.
Until babies are six months old, they have a liquid diet of formula or breast milk. Both of those are made up of 80-90% water, providing plenty of hydration and nutrition as long as they remain undiluted. Water intake for infants is detrimental because it makes them feel full, interfering with proper nutrient intake and healthy weight gain.
Once a baby is six months old, they can have small sips (a few tablespoons) of water, but caregivers should still use caution until kids are at least a year old. At that time, it is safe to give a quarter- to half-cup of water to your little one because they will be eating solid food. Whether your baby is breastfed, bottle-fed, or has graduated to solids, their gums and new teeth should be wiped with a wet washcloth or gently brushed after each feeding and before going to bed.
Putting only water in their bottles (but not before six months, and not too much!) between feedings is the best practice for your baby’s oral health. This will not help prevent acidic buildup that would otherwise lead to baby bottle tooth decay, which can happen when babies are put to bed with a bottle of milk.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
With a big smile and a positive attitude, Dr. Mali aims to provide an exceptional dental experience for children along with a warm and caring environment for families. She resides locally with her husband and two young children. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, watching soccer, trying new foods, and spending time with her husband and children.