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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

6 Effective Tips for Infant Oral Health and Hygiene



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Oral hygiene forms an integral part of our overall health and it is equally important for our young ones. Sometimes, we tend to believe that primary teeth will any way shed and it does not require any extra attention. Sadly, children are prone to tooth decay and many teeth problems begin much earlier than we expect it to be. Once a tooth decay reaches Blame it on the current lifestyle and exposure to processed food, fighting against tooth decay has become a necessary evil.

Your infant’s teeth need some extra attention too and if you find it difficult to comprehend where, to begin with, then don’t worry. In this article, you will discover easy yet effective ways to take care of the oral health and hygiene of your little one.



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1. Choose an age-specific cleaning routine

A clean mouth and teeth are the first step to oral hygiene. The food and formula milk particles that remain in the mouth of the child can cause bacteria to attack, thus, causing problems like early childhood caries. Cleaning the teeth every day ensures that bacteria in the mouth do not get any sugar to combine with, and hence preventing potential chances of decay. The cleaning routine for your infant may, is a little different than adults. Choosing a plan specific to their age is very important. If in any case, there is tooth decay, then your dentist may prescribe you a stainless steel crown that would help repair the tooth and prevent it from further decaying.

From birth to six months you must wipe the gums of your baby with clean gauze or a soft wet washcloth. Right after your child feeds, you must wrap a wet washcloth on your index finger and gently massage the surface of her gums, moving from one direction to another, making sure that the entire surface is wiped clean.

When the teeth start to appear around the age of 6 months, you can go for gentle brushing using a soft bristle brush. You can consult your dentist for the type of toothpaste to use.

2. Keep an eye on the sugar consumption of your child.


What causes cavities? By now, it is clear that sugar attacks teeth bacteria to form early cavities, hence, the dentist suggests, no additional sugar to be given to your child before the age of 2. However, eliminating sugars from their food is nearly impossible. Infants are picky and can demand food that might not be good for their teeth health. Avoid foods that are high in sugar content. Even a cup of fresh-pressed juice contains a huge amount of sugar. Also, everyday food items such as flavored baby food, juices, and even medicines have a huge amount of sugars in them. Keep an eye on the sugar content of such items, make sure you rinse every time they consume hidden sugars.



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3. Avoid bottle decay and wean the pacifiers.

Tooth decay that usually happens in the front teeth of a child is known as bottle tooth decay. If you put your baby to bed with a bottle having anything sweet, such as juice or even formula milk, the prolonged exposure to it can cause caries to develop. Make sure that your child had their last meal way before bedtime. You can put water in the bottle to pacify a fussy child. As your child grows, you can introduce a drinking cup to her. Unkempt pacifiers and bottles are major culprits in causing bacteria to build-up in a baby's mouth. Therefore, you must thoroughly clean them before use. You can avoid saliva transfer from your mouth to the baby by not sharing their cups and feeding spoons.

4. Get a dental appointment within the first year of age.

By the time your child reaches one year of age, or his/ her first tooth starts to appear, you should make an appointment with a dentist, as suggested by ADA. Your dentist will thoroughly check your child's teeth for any potential trouble such as a bite formation and teeth spacing. At the time of the eruption of the teeth, he will also provide an appropriate guideline and care for comfortable teething. Regularly check your infant's teeth for any brown spots or erosion, if there is any sign of irregularity, you must seek immediate dentist appointment.


5. Allow them a healthy munch between meals.

It is necessary to maintain a pH balance of your baby’s mouth. The acidity in the mouth can cause tooth enamel to corrode and thus lead to decay. The pH level drops when a child consumes anything sweet or acidic, and it takes almost 20 minutes for saliva to neutralize these effects. With everyday activity, the caloric needs are more for your child and to suffice that you may be giving them frequent meals. The consistent disruption of the pH balance can create an unhealthy situation for your infant teeth health. You can give them crunchy foods to chew in between the meals that help in maintaining a healthy balance in their mouth. Fruits like apples, peaches, and carrots act as a natural scrubber to teeth and can help maintain good oral health. Calcium-rich foods, such as unsweetened and unflavored yogurt, can help strengthen their tooth enamel.

6. Inculcate good habits.

As a primary caregiver, you need to understand the importance of early intervention in your child's oral health. Habits that they learn in early years stay a long way. By the age of one, a child develops an understanding of routine habits and it is a perfect time to inculcate a brushing routine in them. ADA recommends at least two minutes of brushing twice a day. You can make brushing a fun activity for them by playing a two-minute song while brushing their little pearly whites.

A strong foundation leads to a better future. As your infant turns into a toddler, he/she may start to experiment more with the food. A strong and healthy set of teeth will ensure that your child gets maximum nutrition from the food they eat. Taking care of them in infancy is the beginning of a life-long healthy lifestyle.

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