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There are many myths related to taking care of your kids oral health. There should be right knowledge about infant oral health. It sets the basis upon which preventive measures and basic education can be imparted to prevent dental diseases. The first care to the kids are given by their parents. They are the primary care givers for their children and also play an important role in prevention of dental decay.

We have been growing up with various myths related to oral health of the little ones. There are various questions that bothers young parents. For instance, what is the right age to start brushing, by what age should the child be taken to a dentist, and what is the right toothpaste for my little one.

In course of searching answers for all these questions, we end up believing in several myths that are being presumed and followed since ages.

Let’s counter some of these myths with facts on infant oral care.

Myth: There is no need to start brushing at early ages.

Fact: According to American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry (AAPD) guidelines, the right time for children to start brushing is as soon as the first tooth erupts in the mouth.

But the point to keep in mind is that the gum pads should be cleaned starting within first week of birth. This can be done with clean, sterile gauze piece dipped in boiled water. Presently infant tooth brushes and wipes are also available that can be used for the same.

The gums should be cleaned twice a day, especially after the last feed at night.

Myth: First dental check-up should be scheduled at the age of three.

Fact: The latest recommendations of AAPD, American Dental association (AAD) and US Federal Agencies recommend that the fist dental visit must be scheduled before the first birthday of the child. The child is eligible to visit a dentist as soon as their first two teeth erupts. Early dental visits ensure safe and healthy teeth future of the kids. It lays a foundation of non-threating overview to dentistry. Not only this the early visits also proven to be helpful in parental counselling and education on importance of baby teeth. At the same time your kids dentist perform the risk assessment, gives dietary counselling and teaches right oral hygiene technique to the parents.

Myth: Brushing teeth once a day is sufficient to keep child cavity free.

Fact: This should be a noted fact that brushing should be twice a day and should be made as a habit and should be adapted in the same way in kids. This is because a thorough plaque removal will only be possible with brushing twice and will not at all be beneficial with one time brushing. Also, adopting the right way of brushing is equally important. For this, the toddlers and children involve the use of soft brush in horizontal strokes that should cover all surfaces of the teeth (Fones technique). Along with regular brushing, rinsing is also recommended between meals which removes food deposits on the teeth. Lastly, fluoridated pastes should be introduced at the age of 3 years when a child can start to spit.

Myth: Does teething really occur and can it make child sick?

Facts: During the process of teething, the gm-pads prepare themselves for tooth eruption. This process starts at early ages of 3 months and can last up to 2 years of age. The child can feel irritated during this time and then can tend to put fingers in the mouth constantly. The symptoms of teething include drooling of saliva and loss of appetite. On a few occasions, child can even become sick with loose tummy and there can be slight rise in fever. In case the fever persists for more days, then a paediatric consultation is important. To relieve teething symptoms, bisphenol A (BPA) free cold teethers can be introduced, and carrots and cucumbers can be given to bite which can turn out to be soothing to gums.

It is important to organise dental visits after every six months to effectively establish concept of ‘dental home’, wherein dentist and parents together work in achieving good oral health goals for children. Visit your nearest dental clinic and get your kid examined only by children dentist, as they specialize in this field of dentistry and have a way in dealing with kids.