Dental hygiene is essential to prevent tooth decay in children and other diseases of the oral cavity. After feedings or meals in the months after weaning, it is necessary to clean the mucous membranes of the oral cavity of the plaque layer and food debris that stagnate on them and on deciduous teeth. An absolutely incorrect habit (most common in the past), but which still happens to be practiced, is to sweeten the pacifiers with chocolate, sugar, honey and so on and then leave them in the child’s mouth, with the aim to calm him or keep him busy. The misused pacifier and baby bottle cause decay or malocclusions that predispose the child at six years old (when the first permanent teeth appear) to an unsightly oral situation and a harbinger of future caries, but this time on permanent teeth. It is recommended that the diet from weaning onwards contains foods rich in vitamins C and D (citrus, tomatoes, dairy, eggs) to facilitate, among other things, a correct mineralization of the teeth.
The oral prevention in children should begin as early as during the pregnancy period: it is essential to have a proper intake of fluoride recommended by the gynaecologist for the expectant mother, as well as by the paediatrician after birth. In fact, the effectiveness of fluoride during enamel formation is now recognized by the scientific community, making the enamel more resistant to acids. The intake of fluoride during odontogenesis allows its systematic deposit in the deeper layers of the enamel in formation, thus determining the formation of fluoro-hydroxyapatite crystals, instead of hydroxyapatite.
In countries like America where water is fluoridated, a significant reduction in the incidence of caries lesions has been witnessed.