You Can Prevent Childhood Cavities During Pregnancy

You may be surprised to learn that taking care of your baby’s teeth begins during pregnancy. How can you do that? By taking care of your own dental health. A mom with poor oral health is more likely to pass cavity-causing bacteria to her baby. Keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape when you’re pregnant so you don’t transfer bad germs to your newborn.

Why Baby Teeth Matter

Even though kids lose their baby teeth, it’s still important to protect them. Their first teeth are key for chewing and speaking. If they develop cavities and fall out too early, it can create problems for the adult teeth. 

What You Can Do

There’s another reason why it’s important to take care of your dental health when you’re pregnant. Too much bacteria in your mouth can actually cause problems such as premature labor. Here’s what you can do:

  •  Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.

  • Floss daily.

  • Eat a healthy diet; limit sugar.

  • Visit your dentist for a checkup every six months.

Protect Your Baby’s Smile

You can prevent cavities even before your baby’s first tooth appears. Here’s how:

  • Gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth.

  • Once your baby gets his or her first tooth, brush with a soft baby toothbrush and a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste.

  • Starting at 12 months old, brush your child’s teeth twice per day with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Never put your baby to bed with a bottle.

  • Don’t put your baby’s pacifier or spoon in your mouth. Doing so can transfer bacteria from your mouth to your baby’s.

  • Schedule your baby’s first dentist visit by his or her first birthday.

If you have questions about your baby’s teeth, talk with their pediatrician or dentist. A healthy mouth is something to smile about.

 

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