Dental Care for Expecting Mothers and Baby

A Healthy Diet
Your diet has an impact on the growth of your child and their teeth. The development of teeth begin between the third and sixth month of pregnancy. During this time it is important to have enough nutrients including: calcium, protein, phosphorous, and vitamin A, C, and D. The calcium your baby needs is provided by your diet. A common myth is that calcium is lost from the mothers teeth.

Frequent Snacking Can Cause Tooth Decay
It is common for pregnant women to feel hungry between meals. While snacking in between meals to keep the foods healthy and free of sugars and carbohydrates which can cause tooth decay. An infection can occur from tooth decay and must be treated.

Gums & Pregnancy
The hormone levels during pregnancy change and may cause your gums to be more sensitive to plaque and bacteria. The gums may become red, tender, and inflamed. They are also likely to bleed when you floss and brush, which is commonly known as pregnancy gingivitis.

It is recommended if you are affected by gingivitis to have more frequent cleanings during your pregnancy during your second and early third trimester.

Some women experience an overgrowth of gum tissue called “pregnancy tumors” which is believed to be related to the gingivitis and presence of bacteria. They usually disappear after baby is born.

Visiting the Dentist
Make sure you tell your dentist you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Also inform them of and medical health changes or medications you may be taking. It is important to continue seeing your dentist for checkups and cleanings.

X-Rays During Pregnancy
The levels of radiation from dental x-rays is very low. The guidelines say it is a greater risk for a pregnant woman to put off necessary treatment than it is to have an x-ray. Dental problems not treated can lead to problems for your baby.

After Birth of Child

By three years of age most children have a full set of baby teeth (20 teeth). Tooth decay can begin as early as teeth appear in the mouth. Sugary liquids including: fruit juice, and soda when exposed to the teeth for long periods of time can start tooth decay. Steps to take to avoid tooth decay include:

  • Ask your dentist and pediatrician about fluoride vitamins. THERE IS NO FLUORIDE IN LONG ISLAND WATER. It is important for the healthy development of the teeth for the child to get the right amount of fluoride.
  • Never clean a pacifier by putting it in your mouth and then give it back to the baby. The bacteria that causes tooth decay may transfer to your baby. Children at a young age do not possess the bacteria to cause tooth decay BUT YOU DO.
  • Do not let your baby ever fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice. Only water. Children should never sip on sugary liquids throughout the day.
  • Even before the baby has teeth clean the gums with a wash cloth after each meal. After the first tooth erupts brush the teeth twice a day in the morning and night. Use a child toothbrush with only a small smear of fluoride toothpaste.
  • First dental visit should be after first tooth appears. It is important to get children used to the dentist at a very early age to promote a stress free environment for the child.
  • Having good oral hygiene will pass on good habits to your child.

 

 

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