When your baby is teething, there a few do's and don'ts when it comes to relieving his or her discomfort. It is recommended to give your baby something firm and cool to chew on, but advises against giving baby anything that's frozen or teething toys attached to a necklace.
What about teething biscuits? The biscuits are often hard and firm enough to soothe baby's discomfort, but some of them contain sugar and aren't recommended. Here are a few things to think about before giving your baby biscuits.
Safety of Biscuits
Babies usually begin teething around the age of 6 months. Some babies start teething earlier, while other might begin later. Around 6 months old is also when many babies start to eat their first solid foods.
Giving a newly teething baby teething biscuits is not always recommended. It is often best to wait until the baby is 8 to 12 months old before you give him or her finger foods to gnaw on. That includes biscuits or any other sort of hard cracker, such as Melba toast. Always supervise your baby when you give him or her solid food to minimise the risk for choking.
Teething Biscuits and Tooth Cavities
Even baby teeth can form cavities. In fact, tooth decay is the most common infectious disease during childhood. While cavities in babies are often associated with their intake of juice in bottles, any prolonged exposure to sugary or starchy snacks can increase your baby's risk for cavities and decay.
For that reason, some health institutions recommend not giving babies biscuits or crackers for teething.
Giving Your Baby Biscuits
Although teething biscuits can increase the risk for cavities, they also have some benefits, such as helping your child learn to chew and get used to solid foods. If you decide to give your baby biscuits or crackers to help him or her through the teething process, there are some options worth trying. When purchasing biscuits, look for varieties that contain as little sugar as possible. Some don't have any added sugar, for instance.
You can also make teething cookies for your baby at home. One option is to make zweiback bread, which is often used in Europe to help teething babies. Whether you make zweiback bread or another teething recipe, keep an eye on the amount of sugar in the ingredients. Even ingredients that don't seem particularly sugary, such as oats or flour, do contain a fair amount of starch, which can increase the risk for cavities.
Protecting Your Baby's Teeth
Whether you decide to give your teething baby biscuits or not, it's important to take good care of his or her newly formed teeth to reduce the risk for cavities. Limit the time your baby spends with crackers or cookies and with juice or milk bottles. For example, don't put your baby to bed with a biscuit or a bottle.
It's never too soon to start brushing your baby's teeth. Brush his or her teeth twice a day or after giving him or her a biscuit to chew on. Pick a toothbrush that gently cleans teeth, like one with a soft-bristled brush. Brushing from an early age helps your child get used to the feeling of a toothbrush and toothpaste. It also helps him or her develop good habits that will last a lifetime.