Advice on Stopping Early Childhood Caries

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Advice on Stopping Early Childhood Caries
Though baby teeth fall out no matter what level of hygiene is observed, it is unwise to consider early childhood dental care optional. The habits a child initiates in the earliest years typically stick for decades, so help your son or daughter establish the practices of good hygiene. Early Childhood Caries (ECC) are the result of poor hygiene and in some cases bad decisions made by parents regarding diet, breastfeeding and other factors. Here are tips on how to avoid ECC and other elements of bad oral hygiene for children.

  • Take your baby for a visit to the dentist. Visits to the dentist should begin around the age of one. You will learn a great deal in the first session, from how to brush your child’s teeth to what age it ought to continue (till the age of seven). Additionally, your dentist will explain the role saliva plays in the oral health of everyone. Though diet and brushing techniques must be learned, the role saliva plays in balancing acids in the mouth can never be underestimated.
  • Get the facts on cereals and other foods commonly given to children. Though cereals are marketed as indispensable elements of a child’s diet, the fact is they often do more harm than good. Sugar levels in these cereals are usually far too great to be washed away by natural oral cleansing. Try to establish a diet low in sugars from an early age.
  • Understand the facts about breastfeeding. There are few pediatricians and dentists who advise against breastfeeding children. The psychological and nutritional benefits outweigh any of the negative effects. However, using breastfeeding as a pacifying technique is inadvisable. When children are constantly exposed to bacteria-producing foods (like breast milk) at all hours of the day, their oral hygiene is compromised. Stick to scheduled feedings and avoid breastfeeding before bed.
  • Avoid dipping pacifiers in sweet substances. Adding a little sweetener to a baby’s pacifier might seem like a harmless way for everyone to feel better, but these sugars could wreak havoc on your child’s overall oral health. Unless there are enough breaks from sweet foods and starches, ECC could develop. Let natural saliva accumulate in a child’s mouth so he or she can initiate natural cleansing.
  • Rethink snack-time dietary choices. Even though raisins and other dried fruits seem like healthy alternatives to candy, they aren’t much better. Sugars in dried fruits cause acid to develop, leaving your child unable to stop the ill effects of bacteria. Breaks between meal times help the body establish natural defenses.

Early Childhood Caries could become disastrous for your child’s oral health. Consider the first teeth as valuable as the permanent ones coming later and help your child establish good habits in oral hygiene from birth.