“Baby Teeth”: Dental care in Children

“Baby Teeth”: Dental care in Children

A baby begins teething by 6 months of age. The teeth to erupt first are usually the lower middle teeth (the incisors)
This is the correct age to start taking your baby for their dental check up!
Milk, though good for your baby, can cause a lot of dental trouble if left on the tooth. It must be wiped out or rinsed out. Use a soft wet cloth or wet cotton to wipe the teeth of your little one after a feed.
Don’t use sugar in the baby’s food unnecessarily. E.g. Don’t dip a soother in honey.Many parents think juice is a healthy daylong choice for a drink, but it can lead to tooth decay.
Limit your child to no more than 4 ounces a day of 100% fruit juice. Give non-sugary drinks and foods at mealtimes, and use juice only as a treat. Use a thin smear of an average appropriate toothpaste (i.e. 0-3 years labeled) till the age of 3. Once they begin to “spit-out” or “rinse-out”, increase it to a pea sized amount.

After 3years of age, switch to a tooth paste with 1000ppm of fluoride. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not to introduce juices before 1 year of age. Don’t encourage (best avoid) sticky sweets and lolly pops. Fizzy drinks are best forgotten!! Always encourage plain water with/after meals.
Avoid Baby-bottle decay! Don’t put your infant or older child down for a nap with a bottle of juice, formula, or milk. Sugary liquids cling to his teeth, feeding bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
If you must give your child a bottle to take to bed, make sure it contains only water
There are lots of good reasons to let your child use a pacifier, but in the long term it can affect how his teeth line up. It can also change the shape of the mouth. Talk to your doctor if he’s still using a pacifier past age 3.
Also, Watch out for Sweet-medicine!! Children’s medications can be flavored and sugary. If they stick on the teeth, the chance of cavities goes up. Children on medications for chronic conditions such as asthma and heart problems often have a higher decay rate.
Antibiotics and some asthma medications can cause an overgrowth of candida (yeast), which can lead to a fungal infection called oral thrush. Signs are creamy, curd-like patches on the tongue or inside the mouth.
Talk to your dentist about how often to brush if your child is taking long-term medications. It could be as often as four times a day.

Stand Firm on Brushing, Flossing, and Rinsing
If your kid puts up a fuss when it comes time to brush, floss, and rinse, don’t let him off the hook. Make it clear he doesn’t have a choice.
Some tips to coax your reluctant child to brush on his own or get your little one to let you help:
Be patient. Kids can start brushing their teeth with help from a grownup around 2 or 3. But they may not be ready to go it alone until about age 6. And it can take until around age 10 until children perfect their flossing skills.
Don’t wait until late in the day. If your child is tired, you may not get much cooperation with brushing, flossing, and rinsing. So start before it’s too close to bedtime.
Let your child choose toothpaste. Kids 5 or older can pick their own from options you approve.
Motivate. A younger child may gladly brush for a sticker, for instance, or gold stars on a chart. Or make it a group activity. Kids might be more likely to join in if they see the grownups brushing.
Tooth friends:
1)Brushing twice a day
2)Using a good fluoridated tooth paste
3)Flossing or use of Inter-dental cleansing aids like Inter dental brushes. (Ask your dentist)
4)6 monthly dental check ups
Tooth foes:
1)Increased sugar in diet
2)No brushing or once a day brushing
3)Fizzy drinks and sweetened foods
4)Avoiding 6 monthly dental check ups (waiting for a tooth ache)

1 Comment

  1. Preeti Shetty
    June 21, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Dr.Kanaka …your writeup is very informative ….👌👍