frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Is it true that during pregnancy the baby takes out calcium from my teeth, weakening them?
No. The calcium your baby needs for the formation of
his/her teeth comes from a balanced nutrition, never from
your teeth.
When do milk teeth start forming?
From the sixth week of pregnancy and until their eruption in the mouth. That is why a pregnant woman's nutrition is so important; any health problem the mother or baby have during this period could affect the structure of primary teeth. For example, premature and/or born underweight babies have higher probabilities of having enamel defects (hypoplasia).
When do permanent teeth
start forming?
Permanent teeth start forming little time before birth and up to the child's third year of life. This is why some diseases and medications during early childhood could have repercussions in the formation of the permanent teeth (molar-incisor hypomineralization).
Must I take a fluoride supplement during pregnancy to protect my baby's teeth?
No. The effectiveness of systemic prenatal fluoride (pills) is undetermined, so topical applications (mouthwash, gel, varnish) have proven to be the only effective methods.
Is breastfeeding important for the development of my baby's mouth?
Yes, it is extremely important because:

  • Breast sucking is an essential activity for the correct growth and development of the mouth.
  • Children who had sufficient breastfeeding have less malocclusion (incorrect bite) problems than those who were fed with a bottle during their first months of life.
  • Maternal milk contains antibodies responsible for the immune protection of their organism.
  • Breastfeeding gives them satisfaction, pleasure and self-assurance.
Does prolonged breastfeeding (for more than a year) cause caries?
Not necessarily. Maternal milk is not cariogenic. But remember that the main factors for the appearance of early childhood caries are the lack of nocturnal oral hygiene combined with feeding. That is why if the baby lactates on demand during the night and the mother does not clean her baby's teeth after, the baby’s caries risk increases. .
If I must give the bottle to my baby, what is the best way of using it without affecting the
development of the mouth?
- Look for bottles with holes similar to those of the mother’s breasts so the baby will perform the necessary sucking exercises.
- Try having your baby drink from the baby bottle in a vertical (rather than horizontal) position to perform sucking exercises with a greater effort and stimulate a correct growth of the mouth.
- Never put sugar, honey, sweeteners or cereals into the baby bottle. Juices must be given in cups, not in the bottle.
- From the eruption of the first tooth, avoid nocturnal bottles. If you decide not to, it is very important to clean your baby's mouth before he/she falls asleep.
- You should stop giving the bottle when the baby is 12 to 18 months old. From this age on, try to make your child drink all liquids from a cup.
Are pacifiers bad for babies?
- We do not recommend the use of pacifiers because breastfeeding covers all the needs of the baby’s oral phase.
- If used, the pacifier must be limited to the 18 to 24 months of age because there is a strong connection between this habit and the alteration of the position of the tongue that can cause malocclusions (incorrect bites).
Is it bad that
my baby sucks his finger/s?
- The habit of finger sucking is a natural reflex in many babies during their first months of life (even in the womb!). However, if the habit persists it turns into a very difficult habit to remove, causing severe sequels on your child’s bite.
- f your child is older than 3 years and still sucks his fingers, visit a paediatric dentist to receive the proper assessment on how to eliminate the habit.
Are caries hereditary?
- No. Caries is an infectious and transmittable disease that depends on many different factors, mainly: poor oral hygiene, early transmission of bacteria from the mother's saliva, highly cariogenic diet, nocturnal feeding, insufficient exposure to fluorides, belated first visit to the paediatric dentist, etc.
- In order to prevent the transmission of bacteria from your mouth to your babies (especially if you have had a high caries rate), avoid: sharing utensils with your baby (spoons, toothbrushes); cleaning the pacifier with your saliva; kissing him/her on the mouth and blowing directly on the food to cool it.
Why is it important to maintain
milk teeth healthy if they are going
to fall anyway?
-Because a mouth without caries during childhood is directly associated with a healthy mouth during adulthood. If you want your child to be an adult with no caries take care of his/her milk teeth!
- An infection in the primary teeth can affect permanent teeth which are directly below them.
- Because milk teeth help your child to chew correctly, to talk correctly, to maintain the space for permanent teeth, etc. Also, a healthy smile helps to develop of a high self-esteem.
What can the consequences of
caries in primary teeth be?
-Intense pain, emergency visits and hospitalization for facial infections.
- Physical underdevelopment.
- High treatment cost.
- Greater caries rate in permanent teeth.
- Harm of permanent teeth (of the enamel, of the teeth eruption path, of their position in the arch, etc).
When should I start cleaning
my child's mouth?
- Start now!
- Ideally before the eruption of milk teeth; massage his/her gums with a humid clean gauze, cloth or silicone fingertip toothbrush.
- Once the milk teeth are out, cleaning is mandatory. Use moistened gauze or a silicone fingertip toothbrush, at least twice a day.
- From the first year of age on, use a soft bristle toothbrush to brush your child's teeth at least twice a day.
- When the molars erupt (at 18 – 24 months of age) floss the space where they touch/contact every night.
- Remember that children below 5 years old don't have the sufficient skills to perform an effective oral hygiene technique.
What toothpaste must I use?

- In children 2-year-old or younger who still haven’t learned to spit correctly and have high caries risk, parents should use fluorized toothpaste (1000ppm) in “smear layer” or “grain of rice” amounts.
- For children above 3 years of age who spit correctly, toothpastes with higher fluoride concentrations should be used (1000-1450ppm) in “pea-sized” amounts.

Is fluoride good?
- Topical fluoride is an excellent tool to protect the enamel from bacterial attack and reduce caries risk in children.
- However, the paediatric dentist must assess your child's individual caries risk in order to decide the frequency of administration and the adequate dose.
When must I take my child
to the dentist?
- Before his/her first birthday.
- Remember you must visit the dentist not to treat your baby, but to receive advice about the methods to prevent your child from suffering oral diseases.
- A paediatric dentist's early advice and counselling will allow you to help your child not to suffer from a toothache or go through a dental anaesthesia ever.
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