Perinatal & Infant Oral Health
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling from their general dentist during pregnancy. Research has shown that periodontal disease can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Additionally, mothers with poor oral health may be at a greater risk of passing the bacteria which causes cavities to their young children. Mother’s can follow these simple steps to decrease the risk of spreading cavity-causing bacteria:
- Visit your dentist regularly.
- Brush at least 2 times a day and floss nightly to reduce bacterial plaque and load.
- Eat a proper diet, with the reduction of beverages and foods high in sugar & starch.
- Use a fluoridated toothpaste and rinse every night with an alcohol-free, over-the-counter mouth rinse with .05 % sodium fluoride in order to reduce plaque levels.
- Don’t share utensils, cups, food, or cleanse pacifiers with their mouths which can cause the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria to your children.
- Use of xylitol chewing gum (at least 4 pieces per day by the mother) can decrease a child’s caries rate.