What Does a
This lesson is
intended to understand and
promote the importance of proper dental care for infants.
Birthday of name entered above
Have you ever seen this
Decay or cavities can start before your baby even has
teeth. The baby or primary teeth are important to your child. They
help your child chew food easily, speak clearly, and act as spacers for
permanent teeth. Decay can be painful and also place the child at
risk for increased infections and illness.
The four most important causes
of Tooth Decay are:
1. Enamel defects or a
tooth that is susceptible to decay
intake in the infant's diet
Oral hygiene of the
mother and baby
Milk pooling in the
babies mouth from a dripping bottle
OBJECTIVES: By the end of this session you
will be able to: *Choose
method for cleaning your infants' gums/teeth
*Choose two benefits of
*Observe the difference
between healthy and unhealthy teeth
*Select a teething method
that may work for your child
*Name two ways to wean your baby from a bottle
*Identify two snacks that
are tooth healthy
1: Importance of Dental Care
List two reasons why you think dental care
is important for children:
Dental care is important because...
keeps your child's teeth healthy for:
the pain of dental procedures due to unhealthy teeth
happens if your infant loses his/her teeth too early?
teeth will be affected; they may come in crowded or out
should dental care for infants begin?
Wiping your infant's gums at least once
a day with a clean, damp washcloth or gauze pad will help reduce
plaque build up.
small soft baby toothbrush can also be used!
What is Plaque?
important to remove plaque from your baby's gums even before teeth appear.
plaque? It is a soft, sticky, and colorless film that is made up
of germs that live on your infant's teeth and gums all the time.
must be removed daily to prevent the germs from
making acid and other products that can cause cavities and damage the gums and
bone around the teeth.
When should tooth brushing begin?
brushing your child's teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts.
all children will cooperate, but you should insist upon doing this.
is very important to clean your baby's teeth before
dental visits by your child's first birthday. If you think your child has dental
problems, take him/her to the dentist as soon as possible.
1. You don't need to brush or clean your baby's mouth until they get teeth.
child is not at risk for infection or illness if he has dental decay.
After each feeding, wipe the child's teeth and gums with a damp
washcloth or gauze pad, to remove plaque.
4. Children who have cavities or teeth removed are not at risk for poor
5. You should always help your children
brush their teeth.
1. Plaque is present from birth and
baby's mouth needs to be cleaned on a daily basis.
2. Decay is often accompanied by infection. Infection reduces your bodies
ability to fight illness.
3. It is important to wipe your infant's teeth and gums after each feeding
to remove unwanted plaque.
4. Cavities and missing teeth make it harder for children to bite and chew
foods. Avoiding foods limits the variety of nutrients children need to
grow and develop.
5. It is recommended that you supervise your children while they brush.
What is Early
Childhood Caries (Baby Bottle Tooth Decay)?
destruction of the
first teeth caused
by allowing a baby's teeth and gums to bathe in sugary-rich liquids for a
This destruction is
characterized by cavities, usually on the top front teeth.
The cavities may
look like brown stains, soft spots, holes, or broken teeth. White spots can be
baby bottle tooth decay. They look very white and dull on the
tooth. These can develop into decay in as little as 30 days.
How does Baby Bottle
Tooth Decay happen?
when an infant is allowed to drink from a bottle too often, especially
when the baby goes to sleep with the bottle
an infant falls asleep with the bottle in her mouth, the juice or milk will
cause bacteria to make (acid) plaque
on the teeth or gums.
can eventually lead to cavities that can cause painful toothaches and make it hard
for the infant to eat.
babies are given bottles to fall asleep with there
is also a chance of ear infection from
fluid drainage into
1. It's OK to let your baby fall asleep with a bottle in her mouth.
You should coat a pacifier in sugar to make it taste better.
grows faster in sugar.
4. Babies can
get ear infections from falling asleep with a bottle in the mouth.
1. The liquid in the
bottle can cause choking and tooth decay.
2. Coating a pacifier or nipple in sugar gives the bacteria more food to
3. Sugar is bacteria's favorite food and can be found in fruit juice,
formula, milk and many other foods.
4. Laying a baby flat during feeding may allow formula to enter the middle
ear and cause irritation.
When do a baby's
primary teeth come in?
from baby to baby
come in around 6-9 months and most babies have all their baby teeth by the
time they are 2 years old
What can you do to make teething
easier for your baby?
Provide cold teething rings.
Give your baby a cool, clean washcloth to chew
on. Or try teething tablets, and rub your baby's gums with clean fingers
and Healthy Snack Foods
How do I get my child
to fall asleep (without using a bottle filled with juices or formulas?)
a new bedtime routine.
If your baby
needs a bottle for comfort, fill it with plain
water, or use a clean orthopedic
pacifier (never one dipped in honey or sugar)
your baby a blanket, stuffed animal, or music instead
of a bottle.
or rock you baby to sleep
baby will learn it is nighttime by the patterns you establish. There may be
some resistance and tears for the first few
days, but pediatricians find that
children adapt easily - usually in less than a week.
Introduce juice in a cup - bottles should only be used for formula or water
Your baby should be off the bottle around his/her first birthday
Snacks for Healthy
Teeth (~8 months and older)
low in sugar like WIC cereals as opposed to high sugar cereals such as Sugar
Smacks. WIC cereals low in sugar are Cheerios, Rice Chex, Kix,
Life and Corn Flakes.