Common FAQs about oral care in babies and toddlers
🧿Whats the right time to start oral hygiene in babies?
Soon after his first feed. The milk residues leave a coating on the tongue that can cause a fungal infection. It had happened to Noddy and took us one month to completely get rid of it. Use a soft damp muslin cloth to gently clean the tongue, at least once a day. .
🧿 When should I introduce a #toothbrush to my child?
As soon as the first tooth erupts in the oral cavity. You can use a soft brush to gently clean the area. I found a finger silicon brush extremely handy to clean both his teeth and tongue as it allowed more control over the brush. Be prepared for some wrestling sessions with your baby😆. Mine still gives us a hard time with his brushing. .
🧿Which is the best toothpaste for my baby?
Before telling you which is the best, let me first tell you that there’s actually no need of a toothpaste till first two years of life. It carries a potential risk of being ingested as babies don’t know how to spit it out.
We introduced toothpaste recently to Noddy after he turned 2. Flouride containing pastes help make the tooth resistant to dental decay, but carry a potential risk of flouride toxicity in children ( only when ingested in large amounts) . There are some non-flouridated toothpastes available in the market too and can be used safely. .
🧿How much toothpaste should I apply onto the brush ?
The size of a small pea. That’s it. No more than that. .
⚠️ What if my baby accidentally ingests flouride toothpaste while brushing?
If you are using the prescribed amount of toothpaste, ( the size of a small pea on the brush, that’s it, that is how much is needed to clean your child’s teeth) chances are that he might have ingested just a tiny amount. Flouride toxicity is likely to occur only when ingested in large amounts or repeatedly over a period of time. If you feel your child still needs to master spitting it out, start with a non flouridated paste and gradually shift to a flouridated one once you feel he is mature enough. .
⚠️ Should I clean my baby’s tongue everyday/ is it as important as cleaning the teeth?
The answer is a big YES. The rough surface of the tongue harbours many bacteria. An unclean tongue not only makes it prone to fungal infection, but also predisposes the entire oral cavity to infections of the tooth and gums. .
⚠️ What should I use to clean my baby’s tongue. .
I will tell you what worked for me. Upto the age when he didn’t have any teeth, we used a moist muslin cloth and rubbed the tongue 3 to 4 times, generally before bath. As the teeth erupted we switched to the finger brush and gently rubbed the tongue to free it of the debris. These days I use the regular baby toothbrush and brush his tongue once we are done brushing his teeth. .
⚠️ When should I start taking my baby to the dentist? .
Do not wait for the problem to start before you visit a dentist. Dentists are trained to identify the dental problems at the beginning and hence control it then and there. It’s always better to nip the bud with such problems, ain’t it?