What are Dental Caries
Dental caries is the scientific term for tooth decay or cavities. It is caused by specific types of bacteria. They produce acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel and the layer under it, the dentin.
Dental Care Tips to help Prevent Dental Caries in children
- From six months of age infants should be introduced to drinking from a free-flow cup, and from age one year feeding from a bottle should be discouraged
- Don’t add sugar to weaning foods or drinks
- Brush or supervise toothbrushing
- Brush last thing at night and on one other occasion
- It is good practice to use only a smear of toothpaste
- Use fluoride free toothpaste
- The frequency and amount of sugary food and drinks should be reduced
- Sugar-free medicines should be recommended
When is a good time to start brushing?
Before your baby even breaks his first tooth. Begin without toothpaste, gently rub the child’s gums with a wet gauze or a soft muslin cloth, wrapped over your index finger. If nothing else your baby must get used to mouth and dental care as part of their routine.
Once the teeth emerge, use a soft baby tooth brush with the tiniest amount of fluoride free toothpaste twice daily.
What Toothpaste should I use ?
While I recommended that you wait until your child turns one and check with your pediatric dentist on what’s best for your child, here are some tried and tested recommendations : ( Just a pea size squeeze on the tooth brush is sufficient)
Orajel : This is Fluoride-free and safe even if your child swallows some of it. It comes in 3 fun fruity flavours.
Spiffies Toothwipes : These are nice nubby towellettes that remove plaque (stuck sugars) from the teeth. Great introduction for babies and toddlers for a happy first experience having their teeth cleaned.
Dr. Reddy’s Cheerio Gel : Available in strawberry flavour. It’s active ingredient is sodium monoflourophosphate which increases the decay resistance of teeth.
Pigeon : Less foam and is available in strawberry flavour. Protects your Baby’s Teeth from Tooth Decay
Read what Dr. Mahima Nanda Kapoor has to say about Teething Basics in Infants here
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