Pediatric Oral Treatment

Early loss of the primary teeth may affect the alignment of the permanent teeth and increase risk of the orthognathic problems later in life.

Another ECC is not life threatening, if left untreated, it may lead to bacteraemia and children with severe ECC often require costly treatment with hospitalization under sedation or General anaesthesia.

Recommendation for Parental oral Health
Referral for a comprehensive oral examination and treatment during pregnancy is especially important for the mother.

Removal of active caries and restoration of teeth, in the parents suppresses the bacterial reservoir and minimizes the transfer of streptococcus mutans to the infant, thereby decreasing the infant’s risk of developing ECC.

Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing by the parent are important to help dislodge food and reduce bacterial plaque levels.

Avoid saliva-sharing behaviors (e.g. sharing spoons and other utensils, sharing cups, cleaning a dropped pacifier or toy with their mouth) can help prevent early colonization of Streptococcus mutans in infants.

Primary prevention of ECC should begin with prenatal education of parents on etiology and prevention of ECC.

Recommendations for the infant’s oral health (Birth to 23 months of age)
Clean infant’s gums with a damp washcloth after meals and before bed prior to tooth eruption; do not use toothpaste when performing oral healthcare before teeth have erupted.

Avoid putting infant to bed with bottle containing any fermentable carbohydrates (e.g. juice, milk, all forms of sugars and cooked starches).

Avoid on-demand breastfeeding at the night after the eruption of the first tooth.

Introduce infants to drink milk in a cup as they approach. Twelve months of age which will help with transition will help with the transition from the bottle.

Infant First Dental Visit:
The child’s first dental visit should be within 6 months of tooth eruption and not later than 12 month of age.

Children (2 to 5 Years of Age)
After tooth eruption, clean the child’s teeth with washcloth and progress to child size soft bristled toothbrush.

Start using toothpaste after tooth eruption (approximately 18 to 24 months of age), usually a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste is recommended.

Caregivers should demonstrate proper bushing technique and guide the child in brushing, reminding the child about the importance of proper oral hygiene.

Encourage children to eat regular nutritious to eat regular nutritious meals and avoid frequent between meal snacking.

The child should have dental visit if teeth have not erupted by 12 months of age, and every 6 month thereafter.

Consult with the dentist about fluoride supplements for children 6 months of age or older, whose drinking water is less than optimally fluoridated.

Conclusion

Early childhood caries is a preventable disease that continues to negatively affect the oral health of infant and children. It is very important to give dental care to the toddler, even though his/her primary tooth will be exfoliated in future.