Top 5 Myths About Infant Oral Care Busted!

In the last 7 years of my practice as a dentist I have often heard of a lot of myths related to oral care in children. I, along with pedodontist Dr. Jooie Joshi have put together the 5 most common ones here:

Oral care begins after teeth erupt

The mouth is an ecosystem!! It needs care right from the beginning. Cleaning your child's gum pads with a clean cloth or a gauze piece after every  feed ensures that harmful bacteria do not grow in numbers. It also keeps infections at bay. And Hey! it instills good oral hygiene habits  from the start, right?

Child cannot get his first tooth before he starts to sit up/starts walking

Believe it or not, some children have a tooth at birth! Or sometimes it appears during the first month. These are common and known as natal and neonatal teeth. They may be your child's milk tooth or sometimes just an extra! Removal of the tooth or grinding it smooth helps relieve most complaints depending upon the case.

Teething causes diarrhoea and fever

Irritable child? Yes, you might witness a new tooth debut in the mouth soon. But the diarrhoea and fever is not because of the poor tooth. Its because the child tries to soothe the constant pain of the new emerging tooth by planting whatever comes in sight right into the mouth. Chewing on random object and even fingers provides relief from the pain and this transfer if germs is what leads to diarrhoea and sometimes fever.

Tooth brushing has to be done after all teeth/ chewing teeth appear in the mouth

NOPE. Tooth brushing should be started as soon as the first tooth appears in the oral cavity. As your child grows older, the type of toothbrush changes. The first teeth can be  cleaned with a finger silicone brush which is soft enough to not hurt you baby's soft gums yet clean with enough efficiency. Later, as more  teeth erupt,  larger baby brushes can be used with or without a toothpaste.

Milk teeth need not be treated for caries as they will eventually fall off

The  biggest misconception that we as dentists hear almost everyday ! Milk teeth are NOT disposable alternatives to adult ones. They play a crucial role in the child’s growth and development.  They help shape the bones of the face and the jaws and make way for the adult teeth to come in the correct position. Besides, having healthy teeth in the mouth helps in proper chewing and as a result much required nutrition for overall health. Neglecting a milk tooth can result in disastrous consequences and sometimes irrepairable damage to the  teeth and oral structures in the future.



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Comments (17)

I hv read here nly dat once d baby strts teething night feeding shd b stoppd as it leads to caries even m a dentist bt hvnt read ds nywhr....pls help

Dear Aastha! Good to know that you are also a dentist. In my opinion, we can continue to breastfeed at night .formula feed can also be given provided we are cleaning baby's teeth twice daily

This is so well written.

I clean my babys teeth twice n one mre question my baby drinks dairy milk with sugaar cn i gv me ds at night??

One of my babys lower tooth is a bit crooked. I'm not sure about this but when she was 8 months old and this tooth was erupting, she had a bad fall and got; hurt on her mouth, after that this tooth came out crooked. All other teeth are straight.; Should I seek treatment for this tooth and will it affect shape of adult tooth?

Dear aastha.. sweetened milk is not recommended at night . Make sure that you clean his teeth before he goes to sleep

Dear keshika ,
can you tell me the age of your baby?

Sanjivini S Bhalla she is 3 years 3 months old now

very informative

How will provide oral care for my baby? He s 6 months old.

My son has got night feeding caries. I brush his teeth before sleeping but he still breastfeeds once or twice during the night. Doctor has prescribed toothpaste and adviced to give more water. Anything else I should be doing?

My 1 year old has 8 teeth. Can I use a regular baby tooth brush ? And a baby paste ? Which brand would you recommend.

Dear Navya
I am using mee mee toothbrush with soft brushel n mamaearth toothpaste as the paste is pure natural n nontoxic so safe for the baby. It's taste is really liked by kids

Hello...My 2month baby had to much gas and it makes her uncomfortable how can I help her?

Hi... can I clean my 8 month old babies first tooth with turmeric powder..

what happens when my boy swallows the toothpaste?

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