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Ensuring Healthy Smiles: Perinatal and Infant Oral Health

Ensuring Healthy Smiles: Perinatal and Infant Oral Health

Newborns and expectant mothers’ teeth are crucial in the overall well-being of a child. As a reputable clinic of family dentistry in Artesia points out, a child’s journey to optimum oral health begins at conception. Preventing oral health issues in adulthood requires excellent oral health during pregnancy and infancy. Sadly, this aspect is ignored. This post explores the importance of prenatal and pediatric oral health, common oral health issues, and tips for parents and other caregivers to smile at children.

Importance of oral health during pregnancy and infancy

The perinatal period, including the time during pregnancy and several months after birth, is critical to a child’s oral health. According to research, a pregnant woman’s oral health significantly affects the infant’s teeth’s overall health. A mother’s poor dental hygiene is associated with an increased risk of a preterm and low-birth child developing childhood cavities.

Promotion of oral health during perinatal and infancy

  1. a) Maintain good oral hygiene: During birth, pregnant mothers should maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing their teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and regular dental checkups.
  2. b) Avoid sugary drinks: Pregnant and infant mothers should avoid sugary drinks to children and instead offer a balanced diet, water, or breast/formula milk should be used instead of sugary juice.
  3. c) Clean the baby`s gums: Even before a child’s teeth have erupted, parents should gently clean the baby’s gums using a clean, moist cloth after feeding.
  4. d) Start dental visits: Children should visit a dentist for a checkup after their first teeth have grown, and a comprehensive examination should be done after the first year. According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, the first dental checkup should be scheduled when the child is six months after their first teeth have erupted or the first birthday when the eruption occurs earlier at any time. 

The early visits help monitor the child’s growth and an early appointment to set a good dental regime for the child. Generally, a child’s general health is critical and dependent on their perinatal and infancy dental growth. Parents and other caregivers should adopt excellent oral hygiene during pregnancy, a balanced diet, and early oral health interventions for a child, which pave the way for a life of healthy smiles. Regular dental checks help children develop the best oral health as they grow and gain early interventionist strategies.