When a baby is born, the mother is usually overwhelmed with her new responsibilities. There are three important things to remember during this stage. Though a baby won’t need a dentist until they are closer to a year old, there are still important things to keep in mind to ensure healthy teeth down the road.
At about 6 months of age, the mother should ask the pediatrician about fluoride supplements for the baby. Depending on the amount of fluoride in drinking water and whether the mother is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, her doctor may prescribe fluoride drops or a combination of vitamins-fluoride for the baby. Fluoride affects teeth and permanent teeth as they are forming to make them stronger and more resistant to cavities. All fluoride prescriptions should be continued until the end because fluoride ingested at this age can prevent tooth decay in the future. If drinking water does not contain fluoride, or if the family uses bottled water for drinking and cooking, these supplements should continue until the child reaches the age of 16 and all permanent teeth are formed.
Preventing “Early Childhood Cavities”
The second important thing to remember with a newborn is to NOT let them sleep with a bottle. It’s MUCH easier than ever to start with this bad habit than to stop it when the baby’s teeth start to come out. Allowing a baby to nurse or breastfeed continuously can cause serious dental cavities called “early childhood cavities.” It is important to note that while many experts agree that breastfeeding is healthier for your baby, milk Maternal can cause early childhood cavities just like whole milk or formula.
Early childhood caries is characterized by a single caries pattern beginning with the upper front teeth and followed by the primary molars, in the order of eruption. This disease can result in cavities, pain, tooth loss, infections and insomnia.
Cleaning Baby’s Gums
The third message for this age group is to instruct caregivers to clean their gums daily. After feeding, the caregiver should use a clean damp cloth, fingernail or gauze to gently clean baby’s gums and tongue. If your baby has teeth before six months, be sure to clean them as well. The oral health of the mother is also important. It is also important that the mother continues to care for her own teeth, for her own well-being and for the health of her baby. Recent research shows that the more caries without filling the mother has, the more germs that cause caries. These caries-causing germs can be passed to the baby through daily contact such as sharing food and allowing the baby to insert his or her fingers into the mother’s mouth. This is another reason to fill cavities.
- Clean baby’s gums daily
- Avoid baby sleeping with a bottle
- Ask your doctor or dentist about fluoride supplements.
Six to eighteen months
At about 6 months of age, the baby’s teeth begin to come out. The last milk tooth comes out around 24 months of age.
The importance of baby teeth
Many people do not understand how important the baby’s teeth are. Healthy baby teeth are needed for biting and chewing, which affects the nutrition of younger children. Children who have their front teeth removed because of early childhood cavities have problems eating fresh fruits, meat and vegetables. These are important foods! Milk teeth also maintain the space for permanent teeth. If milk teeth are lost early due to decay, the permanent teeth can become crooked. Milk teeth are also needed to speak clearly. Children who do not speak clearly may not do well in school.
Preventing “Early Childhood Cavities”
At 6-12 months of age, babies should start drinking from a cup to drink. Most children begin to achieve things at this age and this makes it the ideal time to introduce the cup. At 12-14 months, babies should be withdrawn from the bottle.
Caring for baby teeth
When the baby’s first teeth come out, they should be cleaned daily. Health care providers should use a soft, child-sized toothbrush or a clean damp cloth to gently clean the teeth and gums. But in any case, when the baby has reached the age of one year, it is time for the first dental checkup! Caregivers should also be motivated to lift the baby’s lip and check for cavities. Cavities at this age would look like little white or brown spots. If the baby has suspicious spots on his teeth, a dental appointment should be scheduled immediately. If these caries are discovered in their earliest stages, the treatment should be less.
- Serve juice / milk in a baby’s cup (at 6 months)
- Avoid baby walking with a bottle
- Remove the bottle at 12-14 months
- Clean baby’s teeth daily
- Visit the dentist for a 12-month review
At this age, the infants should have already left the bottle. Caregivers who have not yet bottle-fed their babies need to know that their children will develop severe cavities if they continue to use the bottle. These families should be instructed to continue to check for signs of decay by lifting the baby’s lips to check teeth. Early caries is white or brownish spots. If the caregiver sees brown or white spots on the teeth, the child should be taken to the dentist immediately.
Children at this age usually snack frequently. Sweet, starchy snacks such as pipelines and soda crackers should be limited. Constantly snacking on sweet or starchy foods can cause tooth decay. Whenever the baby drinks soda or eats sweet or starchy foods, there is a 20-minute “acid attack” on the teeth. Snacking constantly causes tooth decay because the slow-eating snack creates a prolonged “acid attack” on the teeth.
Caregivers should continue daily tooth brushing in the morning and at night before bedtime. Use a “pea-sized” amount of fluoride paste in the brush as soon as the child is able to spit. At this stage, children can also try brushing their own teeth, but people who care for them will definitely have to help the child. Most children do not have the coordination to effectively brush until they are six to eight years old.
- Limit the number of times the infant eats snacks each day
Wash your child’s teeth after breakfast and before bedtime