Early prevention of oral disease is a major trend in oral health care services. Pregnancy and dental health is one of those sensitive subjects that parents should know about. What is better than an expecting mom to know the necessary knowledge and preventive methods of dental health recommendations early? Tooth decay, poor periodontal condition and gum inflammation have all result in other major effects on the life of the child. Therefore, prevention and detection of oral diseases are made clear for the parents through health care counseling with the pediatricians.
Moms can solve many problems if they are aware of dental health services that children need. Generally there are some reasons why dental health is important even in the pregnant moms:
- By careful oral hygiene check-ups, a pregnant mother can prevent the periodontal diseases and dental caries from becoming worse during this sensitive time
- These dental problems and treatments that mother is dealing with can ensure much healthier baby if prevention counseling and dental care treatments are carried out
- Expecting mothers can benefit from healthier dietary managements ,which will decrease, for example, the harmful bacteria in the mouth through low cariogenic levels in the mouth
Why is pregnant mom at risk of tooth decay?
Dental health is at risk in pregnant women because of changes in diets and eating habits that they have chosen. Nausea and morning sickness are common during pregnancy. That means, expecting mom may try candy for her nausea and may vomit often. Stomach acid through vomiting causes demineralization of teeth. They also have cravings for high-carbohydrate snacks between the meals. Plaque formation on teeth and dental caries can be prevented if pregnant moms follow oral hygiene tips like:
- Having an eye on amount of sugar containing foods that they eat
- Xylitol is one option for sugar craving pregnant moms
- Remineralization of teeth with daily fluoride supplements and mouthwashes
- Avoid unhealthy eating habits
Infants and oral health
Dental caries in infants and toddlers can happen even before babies are just 3 years old. The expecting mothers should know that along with obstetrician visits, they need to have their mouth checked by the dentists. If they need any restoration or even radiographic imaging for better diagnosis, it should be done. Bacterial level is monitored to detect any tooth-decay risk factors like streptococcus mutans, which can be transmitted from the pregnant moms to the infants.
Infant’s oral health tips mothers should know
If baby teeth start to appear, ECC (early childhood caries) is one big danger for primary teeth. Baby-bottle syndrome or nursing caries are some names for this early appearance of tooth decay in infants. The color of gum area around teeth is white and it changes to brown when decay is developing. Diets with high sugar or high sucrose can result in decay development in infants. Mothers should be aware of the following tips:
- Sugar-containing fluids are harmful. Mothers must avoid giving bedtime bottles filled with juice or soft drinks
- Whether the decay is caused by cariogenic or sweet foods and liquids or by long exposure of the infant to milk, acidic environment around teeth should be prevented.
- Use water in baby bottles instead of high-sugar liquids
- Check for infectious bacteria like streptococcus mutans especially during high risk time of 6 to 30 months of infants.
Why should pregnant mom pay attention to oral health?
Oral hygiene and periodontal maintenance services during pregnancy prevents diseases related to pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnant moms want healthier and caries-free infants. By following dental and oral health care recommendations, mothers can benefit from health care providers’ help from all aspects of pregnancy. Prevention is always good when it comes to life of an individual. A life time of dental prevention can easily be achieved when mothers educate themselves on oral hygiene care tips.
Some important dental health tips for pregnant moms and the time after babies are born:
- You need to overcome the frequent avoidance of dental health cares because of your baby
- Infant’s oral examinations as early as 6 months of age for any risk of disease is necessary
- Infant’s oral health planning should be scheduled with regular examinations of the infants by the pediatricians (6 times in the first year of infants life and 4 times in the second year)
- Regular monitoring of mouth examinations should be carried out. For example, to reduce the infections to its minimum and prevent periodontal diseases that can be associated with low birth weight (LBW) and preterm birth (PTB)
- Oral health examinations should be done early in first trimester pregnancy(week 1 to 12) because of mineralization of tooth and bone from week 9 to 12