Role of Bacteria: Because carcinogenic bacteria (especially mutans streptococci) are transmitted soon after the first teeth erupt, decreasing the mother’s mutans levels may decrease the child’s risk of developing early childhood caries. It is recommended that parents, including expectant parents, be encouraged to visit a dentist to ensure their own oral health.
Nutrition: Infants and young children should be provided with a balanced diet. Unrestricted, at-will consumption of liquids, beverages and foods containing fermentable carbohydrates (e.g. juice drinks, soft drinks, milk and starches) can contribute to decay after eruption of the first tooth.
Bottle Feeding: Unrestricted and at – will intake of sugary liquids during the day or while in bed should be discouraged. Infants should finish their bedtime the naptime bottle before going to bed.
Breast Feeding: Unrestricted, and at – will nocturnal breastfeeding after eruption of the child’s first tooth can lead to an increased of risk of caries.
Use of Cup: Children should be encouraged to drink from a cup by their first birthday. At will, frequent use of a training cup should be discouraged.
Home Care: Proper oral hygiene practices, such as cleaning an infant’s teeth following consumption of foods, liquids, or medication containing fermentable carbohydrates, should be implemented by the time of the eruption of the first tooth.
A child’s teeth should be periodically checked at home according to the children directions of the dentist.