Pregnancy is a joyous time when women experience loads of change – a growing baby bump, food cravings, and a maternal “glow” are just a few of the things you can expect. Hormonal changes also accompany these happy months and, unfortunately, the fluctuating hormones can wreak havoc on your – and your baby’s – oral health. Hormone levels during pregnancy can cause tooth decay and gum disease, which can trigger premature birth. However, our orthodontist in Kansas City, MO says that proper dental treatment and oral hygiene can help reduce the risk, keeping you, and baby safe and healthy.
Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy Can Lead To:
Gingivitis – Inflammation & bleeding of the gums during the second trimester.
Periodontal Disease – Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease with pregnancy worsening the infection.
Pyogenic Granuloma – Localized enlargement of the gums during pregnancy.
Vomiting – Many pregnant women experience frequent vomiting due to morning sickness & buildup of acid in the stomach. This can damage your tooth enamel & increase your risk of decay. After vomiting, rinse your mouth with tap water, then a fluoride mouthwash, and wait an hour to bruise your teeth.
Sugary Food Cravings – Excessive sugar intake can lead to tooth decay – opt for low-sugar foods, such as fruits. Make sure to brush and rinse after eating using an alcohol-free mouthwash.
Regular dental checkups and a stringent oral hygiene regimen can help keep your and your baby’s oral health in tack throughout your pregnancy. Be sure to alert our dentist immediately about any gum problems you may be having. In addition, buy a softer toothbrush, brush at least three times a day and use a fluoride toothpaste if you are not already. Fluoride will help to strengthen your teeth against decay.
Taking Care of Your Infant & Child’s Oral Health from Birth – Age 5
Newborn – 18 Months
- Breastfeeding reduces your baby’s risk of teeth alignment issues and tooth decay that often accompanies bottle-feeding due to repeated exposure to sugars. Breastfeeding moms must focus on their own proper oral health, hydration, and getting plenty of sleep – taking care of yourself is taking care of your baby!
- In the morning after the first feeding and right before bed, wipe your baby’s gums with a soft, clean cloth. This will help to wipe away any sugar and bacteria that may be lingering and can cause cavities later on.
- Remember to never put your baby to bed with a bottle or prop it up so they can feed without you.
- Dental decay is transmissible. Do not test the temperature of a baby bottle with your mouth. Don’t share utensils.
- Between 6-12 months, your baby may get their first tooth. To relieve teething symptoms, use a chilled teething ring or a wet washcloth.
- Once your baby’s first tooth does come in, be sure to begin brushing twice a day with just a tiny amount of children’s toothpaste (the size of a piece of rice will suffice).
- Once your baby reaches his or her first birthday, make an appointment to see our dentist. This is vital to spotting signs of early problems.
- Encourage healthy habits by limiting sugary beverages and foods.
- Keep an eye on your child’s gums and teeth. Become familiar with them by regularly looking for small white or brown spots on their teeth. This may indicate dental decay or cavities. If you notice these spots, make an appointment with our dentist.
- Talk to our dentist about fluoride supplements if your drinking water does not contain fluoride
18 Months – 5 Years
- By 30 months, your child’s primary teeth have usually come in.
- By age two, your child should be brushing their teeth with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste (pea-sized). At this time, you should be doing this with your child and teaching them to make sure they spit out the toothpaste and avoid swallowing it. Don’t assume that they know.
- Teach them to brush their teeth correctly and effectively. A child is not really ready to brush on their own until the age of six.
- Continue to look for spots on the teeth and notify our dentist immediately if you find any.
- Make sure your child is having regular visits to our dentist.
- If your child is still using a pacifier or sucking their thumb, talk with our dentist.
Contact Our Orthodontist in Kansas City, MO to Ensure Your Child’s Optimal Oral Health
If you have questions regarding your baby’s or child’s oral health, contact our friendly team at any of the numbers below – we’ll be happy to provide you with more information. To schedule your child’s Burleson Orthodontics Complimentary Consultation, please click here today. We look forward to helping your child achieve their best smile!
Briarcliff – 816-759-0123
Raymore – 816-398-7929
Liberty – 816-479-4109
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about other topics related to orthodontics, feel free to contact Burleson Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry by clicking here or by calling 816-759-0123.