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6 ways to fight dental caries while breastfeeding

Are there black and brown spots on your child's teeth? Don't fret, follow what our doctor says.

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : May 21, 2015 7:50 AM IST

Remember that sharp shooting toothache that kept you awake the entire night? If it was unbearable for you, it isn't going to be any easier with your little one. The best you can do is to be cautious with his dental health right from the start; that is after the first teeth appear. But everything, you might have realised by now, cannot go as planned. So, in case your child develops nursing caries, which could be a possibility, here are few things you need to do.

1. Go to the dentist: Ideally you should get your child checked by a paediatric dentist a few days after his first birthday. If you missed doing so, don't delay the visit when you notice black or brown marks on the upper and lower front teeth. Especially if they don't go away after brushing, says Dr Farhin Katge, paediatric dentist, Mumbai. You don't need an assurance that its nursing caries. So get help soon. Here is why you need to maintain your child s dental hygiene.

2. Avoid night-time feeding: Stop night time feeding (bottle or breastfeeding) once you spot caries. Remember, it is one of the prime causes of nursing caries among children. Here are five more reasons to stop night time feeding, now!

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3. Don't share your food or drinks: Avoid using the same utensils or eating from the same plate with your toddler to minimise infections after cavities develop. Bacteria from your mouth can reach your little one s oral cavity through saliva without you knowing it. So, keep your teeth and gums clean so that you don t pass the bacteria to your child, advises Dr Katge. Here is why you need to take your child s dental problems seriously.

4. Limit intake of sugary foods: If you have spoilt your child with all those chocolates and colas, now is the time to get back on track and correct the habits. Avoid giving your child foods that are high in sugar like sweets, chocolate and beverages. At least not before your child goes to bed, says Dr Katge. Here are top foods that you didn't know could cause cavities in your child.

5. Make brushing fun: If your child has got cavities, be strict with the twice-a-day brushing ritual, but make it more fun. Brush with your child in the morning and before going to bed, invest in child-friendly toothbrushes with his favourite cartoon characters and allow him to do it on his own.

But after he is done, take the brush and try cleaning the insides of the mouth thoroughly. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste and help your child clean in-between the teeth as well, says Dr Katge. Here are some fun tips to help your child brush his teeth regularly.

6. Follow up with proper treatments: Depending on the severity of the trouble your child might need fluoride varnishes or sealant application for existing carries. Make sure you follow the treatment procedures diligently and visit the dentist once every six months, advice Dr Katge. Here is what goes into treating an infected tooth in a child.

A word of caution

Do not neglect nursing carries, chip or broken teeth when you spot them. Poor oral conditions can interfere with eating habits, restricting adequate nutritional intake, obstruct speech and affect self-esteem. Severe decay can interfere with growth and development too. Children with dental pain may be unable to concentrate in school. But having a healthy mouth will boosts overall well-being of the child, says Dr Katge.

Image source: Getty Images

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