Dental Care for Infants & Expecting Moms

Prenatal checkups and eating right are a smart formula for your baby’s good oral health

 

Infants & Expecting Moms

Prenatal dental care

Did you know your child’s good dental health begins long before birth? How you take care of yourself during your pregnancy—proper nutrition, brushing, flossing and regular visits to your dentist—plays a huge role in your child’s oral health down the road.

Here’s what you can do to help your baby start off on the right foot:

  • Brush and floss: Many pregnant women develop pregnancy gingivitis, a form of gum disease triggered by hormonal changes. Brush and floss at least twice a day and you can control this condition while reducing the chance of harmful oral bacteria passing from you to your unborn child.
  • See your dentist: Routine dental exams and teeth cleanings throughout your pregnancy keep you one step ahead of potential problems that may harm you or your baby.
  • Eat right: Your baby’s teeth develop during the third and sixth month of pregnancy. Getting enough calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C and D goes a long way toward ensuring your baby’s good oral health.

 

Oral health care for babies

Your baby’s primary teeth appear roughly six months after birth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends all babies see a dentist by age one. But even before your baby’s teeth arrive, you should get your little one used to consistent oral care.

 

How to take care of your baby’s teeth and gums

  • After every feeding: Gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth. This reduces plaque build-up and establishes a good oral care routine.
  • Using a toothbrush/toothpaste: Start using infant-rated toothbrushes and toothpaste after the first tooth appears.
  • At bedtime: Brush or wipe your baby’s teeth before bedtime to remove sugars and acids that can damage young teeth during the night.
  • See your dentist: Visit the dentist within six months after your baby’s first tooth appears. This may catch early problems and promotes healthy attitudes about dental visits at a young age.

 

Tip: Avoid “baby-bottle tooth decay”
Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice. At night, the sugars in these liquids feed bacteria in the mouth that produce acid, which destroys tooth enamel and promotes cavities.

 

Get more expert oral health advice:

How your teen can practice good oral care & boost confidence

Why mouthguards protect more than just teeth

Wisdom teeth: What they are and why they hurt 


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