Baby teeth are very necessary and should not be lost at a very early stage. If milk teeth are lost too early, the left out teeth will move accordingly and will not leave any room for the permanent teeth to come in. The treatment can be very costly and painful if tooth decay is not prevented. This can lead to life-threatening infections in the future.
Tooth decay is actually the most common chronic infectious disease of the childhood. It can also be called as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries. Tooth decay can affect the children as soon as the milk teeth arrive. So various measures or steps must be carried out in order to prevent the baby tooth decay.
Tooth decay appears in the teeth as white spots at the gum line on the front side of the upper teeth. These spots cannot be found out easily by the dentist without any proper equipment. A child with tooth decay should be examined well and treated at an early stage in order to stop the decay from spreading to other teeth and to prevent any kind of damage in the future.
The below-mentioned steps will give you an idea about the prevention of tooth decay in babies.
- #1 Take care of your oral health before your child is born. While you are pregnant, it is necessary to visit the dentist for oral care. If there is any kind of infection in your tooth, then there is a huge probability that the same will affect your child as well. So it is always better to visit the doctor when you are pregnant and carry out necessary actions to protect your teeth and the baby.
- #2 Baby’s teeth must be taken good care of while you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. With a clean baby washcloth, gently wipe the gums and always keep your baby’s mouth clean up to 12 months after birth. After his/her first birthday, you can start brushing your child’s teeth 2 times per day for around 2 minutes. This should be done after breakfast and before going to bed at night.
- #3 Check if your water is fluoridated - Fluoride mixed with water is very good for babies and they will benefit from it. If the tap water is not coming from the non-fluoridated source, your dentist must check for the natural content of fluoride in it. Your dentist will prescribe a fluoride supplement if in case your tap water does not contain enough fluoride. Fluoride varnish can also be applied to the babies teeth in order protect the teeth from decay.
- #4 Never put the child to bed with food or bottle- This exposes the child’s teeth to sugar and also increases the risk for choking and ear infections.
- Teach the baby to start drinking from a cup as soon as possible by the first 12-15 months of age. It is proven that drinking from a regular cup will not cause the liquid to collect around the teeth.