Dr. David and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognize perinatal and infant oral health as the foundation for a childhood free from preventable dental disease. We strongly believe it is our responsibility to provide guidance and prevention strategies to expectant and new mothers to help achieve this goal.
Mothers with poor oral health may be at a a greater risk of passing cavity-causing bacteria to their young children. When untreated decay is left in a mother's mouth, bacteria are transmitted by saliva-sharing activities (ie: cleaning a pacifier that has fallen to the ground in your mouth, sharing eating utensils, or just kissing your kiddo).
Please follow these recommendations if you are an expectant mother:
- Maintain a healthy diet full of essential nutrients for you and your unborn child. Be mindful of the increased frequency you may be enjoying cavity-causing foods as a result of normal cravings associated with pregnancy.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Dental treatment during pregnancy, including dental x-rays with proper shielding and local anesthetic, is safe in all trimesters. Remember, untreated decay increases the level of harmful bacteria in your mouth that may be transmitted to your child.
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing at least twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing. Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, you may be at greater risk of gingivitis and bleeding gums. Women with untreated gum disease may have premature or lower birth weight babies.
- Chewing sugar-free or xylitol containing gum multiple times throughout the day can be a helpful adjunct in decreasing the amount of bacterial plaque in your mouth.
- If you suffer from morning sickness, digestive acids from your stomach can cause severe damage to your teeth's enamel. To minimize damage, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a cup of water. If possible, try to wait an hour after vomiting before brushing your teeth.
Click here for information on dental topics related to a baby's first year such as teething, tongue-ties, nursing, bottle use, and early decay.
Click here for prevention strategies centered aroung proper nutrition, hygiene, and age-appropriate use of fluoride for your infant.