Oral Care for Babies and Children
Regular cleaning starts before the tooth eruption of baby. Bacterial plaque accumulation should absolutely be cleaned from gingiva and newly erupted tooth. Because, those bacteria combine with food remnants and release acid, this may lead caries. Mother can clean the bacterial plaque on teeth and gingiva by winding a clean gause patch around her index finger or by using soft finger brush which is sold in pharmacies. However, she should be careful about applying pressure to remove only this layer. Over pressure may lead disturbance and crying of the baby during the procedure. If done with a proper pressure, it provides relaxation of the baby due to the massage effect beside cleaning.
This cleaning procedure should be done after every feeding period during 1 year old because feeding is more frequent in this period. By this means, the first teeth of baby will erupt in a clean environment. After 1 year old, cleaning minimum two times is enough, one is after breakfast and one is after dinner. Primarily lower anterior incisors start erupting for babies. After the first incisor tooth eruption is completed, the baby should have a tooth brush and the teeth should be brushed. In the first period, brushing without using a tooth paste will be sufficient because mechanical cleaning is important in this period. Brushing with tooth paste is not appropriate for children until the age of 3,5-4 because spitting reflex is not developed completely in this age. However, in some situations, using some special tooth pastes can be recommended especially if concerning about early childhood caries which are called baby bottle tooth decay. Those recommended tooth pastes are special tooth pastes appropriate for the children in this age group and it is not harmful to swallow them. Therefore, absolutely it should be recommended by a pedodontist (specialist for children teeth) and their application should be followed up