How Perinatal Checkups Can Protect Your Infant’s Oral Health
When you discover that you’re pregnant, the first reaction is excitement. While you’re pregnant, it’s the perfect opportunity to start thinking about your child’s overall and oral health. The “perinatal” period starts during weeks twenty and twenty-eight and extends for a month after the child is born. When you’re pregnant, you’re thinking about a million other things, and a visit to the dentist is the last thing on your mind.
There is a defined connection between gum disease in the mother and premature babies, babies born with low birth weight, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Therefore, mothers should maintain superior oral hygiene throughout their pregnancy. Doing so will ensure the oral health of your baby.
Why You Should Have Regular Perinatal Dental Checkups
Cariogenic bacteria in mothers is connected with multiple adverse effects in babies and children. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that expecting mothers continue to get regular dental checkups to prevent these adverse effects. These checkups can also intervene and treat any issues in the mother before they become an issue for infants.
- Brush – For children under two, use a soft-bristled brush and a minute amount of ADA-approved non-fluoridated toothpaste. Gently brush your child’s teeth twice daily.
- Floss – The moment two adjacent teeth grow in your child’s mouth, cavities can form. Your pediatric dentist can show you how to floss your child’s teeth to prevent cavities.
- Pacifier use –Pacifiers are a lovely way to soothe your child when they’re upset. Ask your dentist what pacifiers are orthodontically correct to ensure the best pacifier for your child. Avoid coating the pacifier in honey or sweetened liquids, as these can cause cavities.
- Use drinking glasses – Bottles and sippy cups allow small amounts of liquid to enter the mouth. Sugary liquids such as milk, soda, juice, formula, breast milk, or sweetened water can contribute to cavities. When using sippy cups, only offer your child water and stop using them after a year.
- Visit the pediatric dentist – After your child’s first birthday, start seeing a pediatric dentist. This “well baby” appointment will give the dentist a chance to examine your baby. They’ll be able to ensure that there aren’t any issues with their teeth or jaw development.
- Wipe gums – As soon as your baby’s first tooth emerges, they’re at risk for cavities. If your baby doesn’t have any teeth yet, wiping the gums with a damp cloth after feeding can reduce the number of oral bacteria.
Your Relationship with Your Pediatric Dentist is Vital
Even if you’ve only just discovered you’re pregnant, it’s vital to start looking for a pediatric dentist. While you’re pregnant, ensuring your oral health is just as essential. Make sure your dentist is aware of the pregnancy and talk to them about how to ensure your child’s oral health. Once your baby is born, establishing a relationship with your child’s dentist is essential. Your child will be seeing this dentist for years, and if you’re prepared to address concerns at an early age, your child will thank you. Oral health, for your child, is just as vital as overall health.« Everything You Should Know About Pediatric Dentistry Why Are People Afraid of The Dentist? »