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Protecting All Children's Teeth (PACT): A Pediatric Oral Health Training Program
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Delay Colonization

Dental caries has a microbial, infectious component.

Delaying colonization of a child’s mouth with cariogenic bacteria will also delay the development of dental caries.

Modifying the oral flora of the primary caregiver can significantly affect a child’s caries risk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends general anticipatory guidance for new and prospective parents before and during the colonization process.

Parents should be encouraged to:

Brush their teeth at least twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste
Floss daily
Rinse nightly with a fluoridated mouth rinse.
Visit a dentist for a cleaning and have all dental disease treated.
Consume fruit juices only at meals
Xylitol: A crystalline alcohol C5H12O5 that is a derivative of xylose, used as a sweetener.
Xylitol chewing gum 4 times per day

Parents can theoretically minimize transmission of cariogenic bacteria via salica transfer in the following ways:
Do not allow children to place fingers into their mouth.
Avoid sharing utensils or toothbrushes.
Do not taste an infant’s food or drink and then place that food into the child's mouth.
Avoid “cleaning” a dropped pacifier with their saliva.
Fast Facts
Dental caries is an infectious process, so delaying bacterial colonization will delay caries development.
Because modifying the primary caregiver's dental flora can significantly affect a child’s caries risk, physicians should promote improved parental oral hygiene.
Anticipatory guidance includes recommending that parents brush their teeth twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste, as well as floss daily.
Parents can decrease transmission of oral bacteria to children by minimizing the passage of saliva.
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