Early loss of the milk teeth may affect the alignment of the permanent teeth and could increase
the risk of orthodontic treatment later in life.
Early Childhood Caries(ECC) is a serious problem, if it is left untreated, then it may lead to bacterial growth and children with severe ECC often requires a lot of costly treatment with hospitalization under sedation or General anaesthesia.
Recommendation for Parental oral Health
Referral for a comprehensive oral examination and treatment during the pregnancy stage is very
necessary for the mother.
Removal of active decay and restoration of teeth, in the parents, suppresses the bacterial
reservoir and it minimizes the transfer of the bacteria to the infant, and therefore this decreases
the infant’s risk of developing ECC.
Brushing the tooth with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing it by the parent is necessary to dislodge food and reduce the bacterial plaque level. Avoid behaviours like saliva-sharing which includes ( sharing spoons, utensils, cups, cleaning a dropped pacifier or toy with your mouth ) This can help you to prevent early colonization of bacteria in the infants.
Primary prevention of ECC should begin with the prenatal education on causes and prevention of ECC.
Recommendations for the infant’s oral health, Birth - 23 months
Infant’s gums should be cleaned with a damp washcloth after the meals and before going to bed
prior to tooth eruption; Avoid using toothpaste while performing oral health care before the teeth
Avoid putting an infant to bed with a bottle which contains any fermentable carbohydrates (e.g. milk, Juice, all forms of sugars and cooked starches). Avoid on-demand breastfeeding at night after the eruption of the first tooth.
Introduce an infant’s to habits such as drinking milk in a cup as they approach. After twelve months of age, this with the transition from the cup to the bottle.
Infant First Dental Visit:
Child’s first ever dental visit should be within 6 months of the tooth eruption and not after 12 months of age.
Children with 2 to 5 Years of Age:
After the tooth has erupted, clean the child’s teeth with a washcloth and go for child size soft-
Start using the toothpaste after tooth eruption (approximately 18 to 24 months of age), usually a
pea-size amount of the fluoride toothpaste is recommended at the first.
Caregivers should properly demonstrate the right brushing technique and guide the child while brushing, reminding the child about the importance of proper oral hygiene. Encourage the children to regularly eat nutritious meals and avoid frequent eating between the meal and the snacks.
The child should have a dental visit if the teeth have not erupted by the age of 12 months and then must have a regular visit every 6 months. Consult with a dentist about fluoride supplements for the children from 6 months of age or older than that, whose drinking water is less than the optimally fluoridated.
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