Teeth development begins shortly after conception. Usually between 6-8 weeks of gestation and continues throughout pregnancy.
So pregnant mothers should consume a balanced diet to protect their baby’s teeth.
It has been found that primary source of bacteria which causes dental caries in baby’s are from their mother’s saliva. So professional dental checkups and good oral hygiene is a must for pregnant mothers. And also avoid exposing their infant to mother’s saliva through sharing food and baby utensil.
Risk Begins Before Tooth Erupts
Baby tooth decay is a serious issue which can lead to infections that can also affect the developing permanent teeth. And the risk of caries starts as soon as the tooth emerges into the oral cavity so care should start from day one!
How to Care
- Gently wipe gums and inside mouth with a damp cloth or gauze pad or wash cloth after feeding
- Clean extra thoroughly at bed time as the production of saliva decreases during night and cause the harmful bacteria to settle more easily.
- Discourage bottle feeding at night
- Always sit and hold the baby in your hand while feeding at night.
- Falling asleep with pacifiers should be stopped
- Never give the infant pacifier dipped in honey ,sugar or other sweeteners
- Start introducing cups from about 6 month and try to stop bottle feeding from 12 months
- Reduce the amount of sugar in his diet, as preference for food is something he learns
- Brush twice daily, from the time tooth appears.
- Using tooth paste can be delayed until he is able to rinse or spit
- Go for fluoridated tooth paste for children under 6 years (consult your dentist for assistance) .A pea sized amount of paste will be sufficient.
- Child should be trained to swish mouth
- Avoid frequent use of sticky food like chocolates and biscuits
- Assist him to brush for about 8 years
- Let him eat more raw fruits and vegetables as it is a natural way of cleansing his teeth
- Dental check up must be done as early as 6-12 months & continue every 6 months
- Dental abnormality can be detected early & adequate treatment measures can be taken
- Habits that leads to mal-alignment of teeth & jaws can be detected and corrected early
- Fluoride treatment can be given to children who are susceptible to caries.
Dr.Sumami Shanfer BDS.
Backers Dental Clinic
pic courtesy 1,2: freedigitalphotos.net