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Avoiding Cavities in Baby’s Teeth
Due to modern lifestyle, children eat loads of sugar through preserved foods, juices, chocolates and starch rich foods. But these are not the reason for early childhood cavities or caries. What causes cavities in children is not brushing teeth after having sugar rich foods. Brushing teeth after every intake of such food is very difficult. So brushing teeth after every meal and avoiding such foods in between meal times is best mantra to maintain dental hygiene of your baby or toddler.
Lets see some tips to prevent dental issues in toddlers
How to prevent cavities in toddlers?
Sugar left on teeth after eating is the main cause for tooth decay. It is not that a particular amount of sugar is harmful but it is how often it is being taken throughout a day. Every time when your baby eats something sweet, the mineral surface of her teeth starts breaking down. This can be recovered but it would take some time. Intake of sweets during regular intervals of the day will not provide time for her teeth to recover or repair themselves, thus causing tooth decay.
Mealtime is the best time for offering sugary drinks or food to your baby, so that there will be a time gap between her intake of sweet. Fruit smoothies, fruit juices and dry fruits stick on the teeth and are very high in sugar.
Clean baby’s teeth every time you feed her food. This will avoid the foods to stick on the teeth for long.
Are Certain Foods More Likely To Cause Tooth Decay?
Yes, starches like pasta, crackers, breads and sweets like jelly, caramel, chocolate, peanut butter, juice, dried fruits and fresh fruits can cause cavities.
Should I Give My Baby Fluoride Supplements?
Supplements should never be given without the advice of a dentist. Doctors prescribe the correct dose for your baby according to her age. Doctors also consider the local water fluoride content. If your baby’s fluoride intake is too much during the growth of her teeth, it can damage her teeth and even can give the enamel look.
If the water supply to the area where you leave already contains fluoride then your baby is less likely to need supplements, it is been decided according to the level of fluoride in water you drink. If you are not aware about the content of fluoride in your drinking water then you can consult your dentists.
Packaged fruit juices and water also contains fluoride but is never listed on the label. So always remember a little fluoride is very much beneficial but taking too much at regular intervals can cause Fluorosis, which causes white spots on your baby’s teeth. That’s why do not allow your child to use too much of toothpaste and sugary foods especially till your child learn to clean her own teeth properly.
Tips for Toddler’s Dental Care
○ Offer boiled water, formula milk and breast milk to your baby as drinks.
○ Provide water or breast milk during night. Clean Teeth after every brastfeeding session with a clean cotton cloth or special tooth wipes.
○ Avoid giving your baby fizzy drinks, flavored milk or packaged fruit juices, as these liquids contains a large amount of sugar which causes tooth decay.
○ Make your baby a habit of eating balanced and healthy diet. Encourage them to enjoy foods like vegetables and also do avoid sugar in her food.
○ If your baby is in a need of taking medicines then prefer sugar- free medicines for her.
○ Your baby and toddler must drink enough water daily. Many kids don’t eat enough water which can also cause other dental issues like thrush.
If you are feeding packaged baby food to your baby then don’t forget to check that the product contains no sweeteners or added sugars. As like plain sugar; glucose, fructose and lactose are also much harmful.
There is higher risk of tooth decay in toddlers front teeth compared to other teeth as they are first teeth and also more exposed to food.
Every time I give any sweet snack or chocolate to my kids, after they finished eating if I could not make them brush their teeth (may be because we are travelling or at friends/relative’s house), I give them natural mouth-freshener i.e. fennel seeds (Badishop/Sounf)
Fennel Seeds are good for digestion and as you chew it, it even removes the hard caramel stuck in teeth. Then I give them water to drink. This is my quick easy trick in replacement of brushing.
Brushing yours kids teeth 2-3 times a day or making them do that, is very tiring task for parents but caring for your toddlers teeth is always better than running after dentists appointment for painful tooth decay treatments. Always regularly check your baby’s teeth yourself and get regular checkups from dentist to identify signs of tooth decay at early stage.