Perinatal & Infant Oral Health

A cute baby boy laying on his stomach and teething on a blue toy

At Novato Children's Dentistry, we believe that a child's oral health begins long before their first tooth appears. Our Perinatal & Infant Oral Health program is designed to support expectant mothers, new parents, and infants in establishing the foundations for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

In the early stages of life, proper oral care is crucial for setting the foundation for healthy teeth and gums. Our team are experts at helping to guide parents through the essentials of dental care for infants.

From the eruption of the first tooth to tips on avoiding baby bottle tooth decay, we cover the key aspects of maintaining your infant's oral health. Our pediatric dental experts offer advice on how to clean your baby’s teeth, the importance of regular dental check-ups from an early age, and how to spot and prevent common dental issues in infants.

The Importance of Perinatal Oral Health

For Expectant Mothers: Good oral health during pregnancy is vital for the well-being of both mothers and their babies. 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.
  • Routine oral examinations and cleanings.
  • Education on the importance of oral hygiene during pregnancy.
  • Management of pregnancy-related oral health conditions, such as pregnancy gingivitis.

Infant Oral Health Care

From the First Tooth: Infant oral health care begins with the eruption of your baby's first tooth. Early dental visits are crucial in preventing early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle tooth decay. 

Our services and guidance for infants and new parents include:

  • The "first visit by first birthday" policy - which encourages parents to bring their child for their first dental visit within six months of the first tooth's appearance or by their first birthday.
  • Advice on infant feeding practices, oral cleaning, and fluoride needs.
  • Assessment of normal oral development.
  • Prevention and management of oral habits such as thumb sucking.

Why Choose Us for Your Family's Oral Health

  1. Specialized Pediatric Care: Our team specializes in the oral health needs of children from infancy through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.
  2. Comprehensive Education and Support: We provide parents and caregivers with the knowledge and tools needed to promote optimal oral health for their children.
  3. A Welcoming Environment: Our office is designed to make children and families feel comfortable and at ease, making dental visits a positive experience.

Schedule Your Visit

Whether you are an expectant mother seeking advice on maintaining your oral health or a parent looking for the best start for your infant's oral care, Novato Children's Dentistry is here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your visit and join our family of happy, healthy smiles.