Caring for Little Mouths: Are We Starting It Right??

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By uday

As a new or new again parent or Caregiver, you want to give your child the best start in life. But caring for an infant can bring up all kinds of questions and confusion …specifically in today’s era. We as parents are constantly in a state of information overload may it be folk wisdom from our moms & aunties or Google wisdom from Alexa & Serra aunties… so how to make the right choice??

When it comes to taking care of a baby’s oral health the misconceptions are many And to make it worse we are in a worldwide endemic of sharp increase in oral health problems in infants. So, let’s debunk some common myths about infant oral health. Hope it helps you to care for little mouths better, giving your tiny tots a healthy start in life.

Myth : Babies Cannot get Cavities.

Fact : Babies are at risk of developing cavities as soon as their first teeth appear.

This early decay is called Early Childhood Caries or Baby Bottle Caries. The main reason for this is prolonged exposure to sugary liquids like milk or juices that feed oral bacteria and they attack the enamel of emerging teeth.

Fortunately, wiping a baby’s gums after each feeding and avoiding putting the Baby to sleep with a bottle to bed can help prevent the development of these cavities.

infant oral health car

Myth : You don’t need to brush a Baby’s Teeth

Fact : As soon as teeth emerge, even the tiniest teeth need brushing

As mentioned earlier even Baby teeth are susceptible to decay Following the right oral hygiene routine helps to reduce the risk of cavities.

  • Baby’s gums should be wiped with soft clean muslin cloth after every feed.
  • As the first tooth emerges in the mouth around 6 months, start brushing the baby’s teeth. Two times a day. Up to the age of 1 year, you can use a finger brush without any Toothpaste.
  • From 2 to 6 years, you can use a soft baby brush with rice grain-sized age-appropriate toothpaste to clean your baby’s teeth.
  • After the age of 6 years shift to kids brush and pea-sized fluoridated toothpaste.
  • These are general guidelines, it’s always better to consult a dentist for any specific requirements of your baby.

Myth : “Just lick it clean”

Fact : Licking your baby’s feeding spoon or sharing spoons with your baby can lead to the transfer of cavity-causing bacteria from adult to baby.

Sharing spoons results in the transfer of Streptococcus mutants, from adult to child. So, infants are exposed to this bacteria early in life and are at higher risk of developing cavities.

Myth: Babies don’t need Dentists for Milk teeth.

Fact : Baby’s first visit to the Dental Clinic should be as soon as first tooth emerges and not later than the first birthday.

These early visits to Dental Clinic go a long way in giving your baby a healthy start in life. Dentists can guide you about correct brushing techniques, right dental products to suit your baby’s oral health needs, how to maintain oral hygiene and make it fun, and foods that can help to keep teeth healthy.

Another big advantage of these early dental visits is kids who visit dental clinics at younger ages with pleasant dental experiences are less likely to have dental fear as grown-ups.

Hope this helps to clear some of the confusion and helps to care for little mouths better !!!

About the author:
Dr. Varsha Sathe , Aarogya Mitra Foundation .Consulting Dental Surgeon & Director @Dr. Sathe’s Occlusion Multi-speciality Dental Clinics.

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