Babycare

5 Tips: Dental care for newborns

Dr Kunal Gupta
0 to 1 years

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5 Tips Dental care for newborns

A child’s oral health care starts from the period of pregnancy because a child’s milk teeth start forming during the period of pregnancy. Hence, a healthy balanced diet with adequate calcium content is important for pregnant mothers for proper formation of milk teeth.

1.Cleaning of gum pads (gums) should begin soon after birth

Gum pads should be cleaned using a clean soft cloth or gauze wrapped on index finger. The gums, tongue and inner surfaces of cheek should be cleaned in sweeping motion. This may require some patience. The gums can be cleaned at any time during the day but preferably after feeding. Once the first tooth erupts, it should be cleaned using a finger brush.

2.Teething

Babies can sprout their first tooth between 4-7 months. Teething may be associated with pain in gums, drooling of saliva, irritability etc. All these can be minimised by massaging of gums with clean fingers, keeping gum pads clean, use of teething rings (hygiene of teething rings should be maintained carefully) and use of finger foods. In the case of severe symptoms, pain relieving gels for babies may be used. Sometimes, teething may be associated with bluish discolouration or swelling over the erupting tooth due to the accumulation of blood over the erupting tooth (known as eruption cyst). Regular massage will help in resolving this problem or sometimes, drainage of fluid or blood over the tooth may be required.

3.Natal teeth

Sometimes, babies are born with a tooth/ teeth in mouth known as “Natal tooth/ teeth”. If they are not well formed teeth, they may require removal. Well formed teeth do not require removal as they are the milk teeth which have erupted in advance although; they may be mobile initially as the root length is short. As the root formation increases over time, their mobility decreases. Regular check up is required to check the mobility. Natal tooth may require removal if they are very loosely attached to the gums.

4.Dental cavities

Dental cavities can affect newborns soon after the first tooth erupts in the mouth. These kinds of cavities are known as “early childhood caries” which are rapidly progressing and are detrimental to the health of milk teeth. Dental cavities are caused by bacteria present in mouth known as streptococcus mutans. These bacteria can be transmitted by the mother to child (dependent on mothers’ levels of streptococcus mutans, the level of oral hygiene, the health of gums and number of untreated cavities in the mouth) or through other family members, caregivers, siblings to the child.  Transmission can occur by kissing or sharing spoons (testing temperature of food). Hence, it is advisable that mother and other family members should have good oral health and oral hygiene practices to reduce the risk of getting cavities in newborn.

5.Feeding practices

Although breastfeeding is not directly associated with dental cavities, however, there may be other factors such as enamel defects, poor oral hygiene in babies which may cause dental cavities if the child is breastfed. On the other hand bottle-feeding with formula milk is definitely associated with dental caries. It is recommended that breastfeeding/bottle feeding at night/during sleep beyond one year should be avoided to prevent early childhood caries. If the first tooth erupts before one-year regular cleaning of teeth is important after feeding at night to prevent cavities on teeth.

Did you like the blog? Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below. 

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| Aug 07, 2017

how to clean baby tough

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| Jul 10, 2017

My daughter is 8mnths old n she is not getting her first tooth... plz suggest wat is d right age for dis

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| Jun 26, 2017

Must to know info... thank you for the guidance .

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| Jun 22, 2017

my baby is going to have his first bday, but till now he doesn't have teeth wat is d remedy for d problem. by

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| Jun 21, 2017

hi my child is not eating properly ....he is getting his teeth... so is this is normal... wht step i cab take...

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| Jun 17, 2017

my 11 month boy has no teeth what can we do for this

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| Jun 17, 2017

Wounderfull information

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| Jun 17, 2017

Informative blog

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| Jun 16, 2017

Thanx for this important information

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| Jun 16, 2017

needy blog

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| Jun 15, 2017

very good blog. helpful too.

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| Jun 15, 2017

thanx for the wonderful guidance. The much awaited blog.

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| Jun 15, 2017

really helpful information

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| Jun 15, 2017

Hi Deepti. My Son is also bottle fed and he has got his first tooth in 9th month. Don't worry. Just enjoy with you LO!

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| Jun 15, 2017

My son is 9 months old he still haven't got any tooth. wherever I see they say by 8months baby should have teeth. he was and is bottle feeding. is it because of bottle feed?

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| Jun 15, 2017

good information

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| Jun 15, 2017

my son is 10 months old, his lower incisors have come but now he have excessive diarrhoea. what to do?

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| Jun 15, 2017

use full information...

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| Jun 15, 2017

thanks for the info....

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| Jun 15, 2017

thanks for very useful information !!

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| Jun 15, 2017

my baby age is nine mnth bt still no teeth.

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| Jun 15, 2017

My baby is 11 months old but still his teeth not yet formed, is it normal or should I consult pediatrician?

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| Jun 15, 2017

thanks for info. this will be useful

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| Jun 15, 2017

my concern is how to clean baby teeth during night feeding as they go sleeping while feeding ??

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| Jun 15, 2017

really gud information

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| Jun 15, 2017

thanks for the information

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| Jun 15, 2017

hi is cetaphil baby products are good

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| Jun 15, 2017

How to clean the teeth? my baby is having 4 teeth now. she is 10 months 1 week old.

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| Jun 15, 2017

its useful .. thank you ..

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| Jun 15, 2017

Hi Dr Kunal, thank you for a detailed information on the dental care of the newborns.

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| Jun 15, 2017

nice info

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