Oral care of infants is very crucial as the bacteria lodges the oral cavity within few hours after birth.
Oral mucosa is the first in the human body where microorganisms are seen to be established soon after the birth within 6 to 8 hours in an infant.
The primary causative factor responsible in initiation of dental caries is transmitted from mother to the infant. These gather a foothold in the mouth immediately after the eruption of teeth.
Eruption of teeth begins at 6 to 10 months of age and completes by 3 years of age, But even before that the oral cavity should be maintained clean.
Oral hygiene practices to be followed :
- Prolonged Breast feeding, especially throughout the night and sometimes day has been associated with nursing caries.
- Remove the bottle immediately after feeding.
- Give water after feeding with the bottle and clean mouth soon after feeding.
- The cleaning activity should be performed after every meal or at least once in a day.
- The cleaning of gum pads can be started as early as within the first week of birth. Nowadays specially designed for infants tooth brushes, finger cots and wipes are available.
- Clean everyday twice after morning and last feed in the night.
- Spend at least two or three minutes in cleaning.
- Dilute the milk gradually in the bottle and end with plain water.
- You can start with semi-solid foods by 5-6 months and reduce use of bottle or breast feeding.
- Avoid extended use of sugared medicines such as syrups.
Importance of mother’s own oral hygiene is equally important as poor oral health of the mother can affect the health of the fetus and the new born.
Poor maternal periodontal health increases the potential for pre-mature low birth weight of babies and high caries level in the mother result in an equally high level in the child.
Start it at the earliest to maintain a healthy oral cavity of your child !!!!