Baby teeth

Happy Tuesday,

I know most new parents want to know how to raise a perfect human being. I do not know the answer to this question but I know a thing or two about how to look after babie’s new teeth:

Oral hygiene must begin as soon as teeth emerge into oral cavity.

Wipe teeth initially with gauze. cloth to remove surface plaque and food debris, this will not arouse the child who has fallen asleep on breast or bottle.

As more teeth emerge start brushing, dry, not on bathroom counter.
Initially toothpaste flavor may be too strong and foaming action frightens young children.

Add toothpaste to brush when baby is 12-24 months.
Toothpaste should not be more than the size of a pea.
Use fluoridated toothpaste (since fluoride fights cavity).

Parents should brush baby’s teeth at least once a day, before bed at night for 2-3 minutes.
Until your child is able to tie her shoelaces or hold fork.

Baby’s diet:
– breast feeding is still the best
– never place child in bed with bottle
– avoid sugar and salt

– when baby’s teeth are coming in, they will be irritable and drooling
– they will have loose stools and low grade fever
– drooling will cause lose of fluid and hence more acidic urine which can cause rash
– their gums will be sore
– their sleep and eating patterns will be disrupted

Teething management:
– chilled teething ring or cloth
– lots of fluids

In order to prevent dental problems first visit to the dentist should be between 6-12 months of age.

I hope this helps.

Dry mouth or xerostomia

Having dry mouth is always troublesome, one of the effects of it is rampant decay. It is because saliva acts like a buffer and it reduces acidity bacteria producing as well as it carries mineral needed for replenishment of tooth surface. Saliva forms a film on tooth suface and protects it agaist loss of mineral too. One the reasons for getting dry mouth is medicines. We can always ask our pharmacist if this is the case and if so, we can ask our doctors if there is an alternative drug to take, one which does not cause dry mouth. The other one is systemic diseases like diabetes or HIV infection as well as autoimmune disorders such as lupus.
Suggested protocol for dentists and patients for preventing tooth decay caused by dry mouth is as follows according to an article printed on Journal of Canadian Dental Association 2011;77:b85:

” Using remineralization paste and chewing gum containing Recaldent to replenish calcium and phosphate ions

Using high-fluoride varnish once every 1 to 3 months to reduce the susceptibility of enamel to acid challenges

Using high-fluoride-containing toothpaste and rinse daily, with monitoring for signs of fluorosis and patient compliance

Chewing xylitol gum up to 5 times a day for 5 minutes each time to reduce acid production by bacteria, and increase saliva and oral comfort

Taking medications, inclusing pilocarpine, bethanechol or Sialor, to induce salivary flow and increase comfort for those with residual salivary gland function

Using products made by Biotene for comfort and paossible anti-bacterial activities

Brusing teeth carefully to remove any plague and residual food particles with either a manual brush or and electirc brush with an oscillating and rotating head, and possibly using a Waterpik to replace floss, as patients prefer

Changing to a diet low in sugar and acidic drinks

Potientially using cholorhexidine in conjunction with these other procedures

Having the patient sleep with a remineralizing agent (e.g., MI Paste, X-Pur) in medication carriers fabricated like bleaching trays to extend exposure to the agent to keep the mouth wetter at night and to provide a mechankical barrier to an acidic environment.”

I hope this helps.