When we talk about the oral health of babies, the questions are many. Today we are lucky to have Dr. Mercedes Viñas on our blog. She is the professional in command at Journal of Pediatric Dentistry , from where he carries out an intense work of dissemination on social networks to help us solve all the questions generated by the oral health of babies.
Surely when you finish reading this article, everything will be much clearer!
He is a specialist in Pediatric Dentistry, that dentist who after completing his studies in Dentistry, undertakes a University Master’s degree of at least 2 years duration, based on specific training to maintain or recover the oral health of children from birth.
During that time, the pediatric dentist is trained not only in dental treatments, but in different child disciplines such as child nutrition, pediatric pathology and even child psychology, very necessary in the day-to-day consultation of a pediatric dentist in order to carry out successful treatments in the pediatric patient.
When should I learn how to maintain my baby’s oral health?
Prevention is the most effective way to maintain the oral health of our babies. It is of great importance that this information reaches mothers during pregnancy, thus giving the pregnant woman the necessary information to establish health habits in her baby. The best way to take care of children’s health is, without a doubt, working as a team with different health professionals such as midwives, physiotherapists, pediatricians and pediatric dentists.
My baby doesn’t have teeth yet, should I clean his mouth?
The latest recommendations tell us NO. In the case of babies with Exclusive Breastfeeding, it is NOT recommended to remove the remains of milk from the mouth, since we would be removing the immunoglobulins present in breast milk that help the baby to regulate its oral and intestinal flora, thus avoiding infections during first months of life. In the case of babies with artificial feeding, it is NOT necessary to remove the remains of food, since there are no studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of removing these remains.
But then … what is the silicone thimble for?
The bristles of the thimble are too large to clean the leftover milk or food from the enamel.
Therefore… The silicone thimble only serves to MASSAGE the gums.
It could be useful to alleviate the discomfort of tooth eruption.
When should I start dental hygiene on my baby?
Tooth brushing should begin with the ERUPTION of the first tooth. As soon as we see that first tooth appear, we should start brushing regardless of how many months our baby is. We must bear in mind that some babies will have their first tooth at 4 months and others will not have it even until 11 months.
How should a baby brush be:
- Small head.
- With nylon bristles.
- Ergonomic handle to facilitate brushing technique.
Toothpaste, with or without fluoride?
- There is robust scientific evidence about the benefits of using fluoride pastes from the first tooth eruption.
- Both AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry), as well as the Spanish Society of Pediatric Dentistry and the WHO, agree on the importance of the use of fluoride pastes as an essential factor in the prevention of cavities.
Where can I check the fluoride concentration of my toothpaste?
We must turn the toothpaste and look within the composition for a number followed by ppm of fluoride. On the other hand, we should not be guided by the age ranges that mark toothpastes. On a daily basis, this gives rise to many doubts about the correct use of fluoride pastes and there is even great misinformation on this issue at the points of sale, generating even more confusion.
Type and quantity according to age:
- From the eruption of the first tooth up to 3 years: fluoridated paste of at least 1000 ppm of fluoride, in the approximate amount of a grain of rice 2 times a day.
- From 3 years: fluoridated paste of 1450 ppm of fluoride, in the approximate amount of a pea 2 times a day.
Is it safe to use fluoride pastes even if my baby can’t spit?
YES. The safety range of fluoridated toothpastes is very high. For example, in children under 3 years of age, it would take 13 brushings a day with a 1000 ppm paste to reach the tolerable limit for fluoride (assuming they swallow 100% of the paste).
Also as a curiosity, add that the latest recommendations indicate that it is NOT advisable to rinse after brushing, we only have to spit. In this way we favor the topical absorption of fluoride in the teeth and therefore its power to remineralize the enamel. Children learn to spit around the age of 4, but that is not why we should make the mistake of using toothpastes WITHOUT fluoride or low-concentration pasta.
Finally… When should be the first visit to the pediatric dentist?
Ideally, the first visit to the pediatric dentist should be with the eruption of the first teeth or before the first year of age. In this way, this first visit will have a preventive nature, in which, in addition to assessing the baby’s oral cavity, families will be given the necessary recommendations so that their baby’s mouth grows in health.