Dietary Guidelines

Diet during pregnancy

Since diet during pregnancy directly influences formation of sound, caries resistant teeth, diet counseling should be given to expectant mothers. Diet containing adequate amount of protein, vitamin A,C and D, iron, calcium and phosphate should be given to expectant mothers and to all children during the formative stage of teeth, i.e., till the age of 12- 14 years.

Diet for toddlers

Diet Special instructions on breast feeding and proper choice and timing of bottle feed should be given to prevent nursing bottle caries and malocclusion. Breast feeding should be encouraged, but feeding - on- demand should be restricted. Bottle- feeding should be weaned by the age of one year. Bottle-feeding at night should be strictly avoided as it causes rampant tooth decay. Some infants are given comforters dipped in honey to prevent them from crying. Such a practice is harmful, as honey contains high amounts of sugar, and contact for long periods can cause tooth decay. Instructions regarding oral hygiene of the infant should be given and importance of nutrition should be emphasized in development of dentition.

Diet for nursery and primary

Importance of milk teeth as space maintainers for permanent teeth and in development of speech besides other functions such as mastication, esthetics and psychological well being, should be stressed while training the medical, para-medical personnel, school teachers and parents. Intensive Dental Care Programme for school children should be implemented. In schools, it is observed that on birthdays, sweets and chocolates are distributed amongst children. Teachers should recommend to the parents to distribute stationary items instead of sweets. Teachers should also educate parents about the oral health care.