Pregnancy and Oral Health from a San Diego Pediatric Dentist Perspective

Pro-active Expecting mothers in San Diego ask us about considerations in oral health and pregnancy. There is a great deal to discuss. We recommend that if you are pregnant you see your general or pediatric dentist and consider the following:

— Oral health education: Early intervention and counseling during the perinatal period from all health care providers including physicians, dentists and nurses.

— Oral Hygiene: Tooth brushing and flossing on a daily basis are important for the parent to reduce bacterial plaque, which research has linked to preterm, low-birth weight babies.

— Diet: Dietary education for the parents, including the potential effect of foods and beverages on their oral health, helps maintain good dental care.

— Fluoride: Using a fluoridated toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association and rinsing every night with an alcohol-free, over-the-counter mouth rinse containing 0.05% sodium fluoride have been suggested to help reduce plaque levels.

— Caries removal: Routine professional dental care for the parents can help keep their oral health in optimal condition.

— Delay of colonization: Education of the parents, especially mothers, on sharing utensils, food and cups can help prevent the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria.

— Xylitol gum: Recent evidence suggests the use of xylitol chewing gum (four pieces per day by the mother) can decrease a child’s caries rate.

Scripps Pediatric Dentisty- 9840 Hibert St. Ste B4, San Diego, CA 82131 – (858) 693-5677

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