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Prevent Cavities and Gum Disease in Your Child Starting at the Beginning of Pregnancy

Taking care of your mouth while you are pregnant is important for you and your baby. How will Brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods and getting dental checkups and treatment help keep you and your baby healthy?

  • When your mouth is healthy, your baby is more likely to have a healthy mouth too.

  • While you are pregnant brush and floss every day.

  • Changes to your body when you are pregnant can make your gums sore, puffy and red if you do not brush and floss every day.

  • To prevent or control tooth decay, brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride twice a day.

  • Floss once before bedtime to keep your gums healthy.

  • If you cannot brush your teeth because you feel sick, rinse your mouth with water or a mouth rinse that has fluoride.

  • If you vomit, rinse your mouth with water.

  • Eat healthy foods: fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products like bread or crackers, and dairy products like milk, yogurt, or cheese. Lean meats, fish chicken, eggs, beans, and nuts are also good choices.

  • Drink water or low-fat milk instead of juice, fruit-flavored drinks or soda (pop).

  • Drink water at least a few times a day especially between meals and snacks.

  • Eat fewer sweets like candy, cookies, or cake and drink fewer sugary drinks.

  • Eat foods or drinks that have sugar at mealtimes only.

  • Get a dental checkup. It is safe to have dental care when you are pregnant.

  • Do not put it off until after you have the baby.

  • It is important to treat dental infections and complete dental work such as tooth decay and gum infections to keep you and your baby healthy during the pregnancy.

  • Tell the dental office staff that you are pregnant and your due date. This will help the dental team keep you comfortable.

  • The dental team may suggest rinses with fluoride or chewing gum with xylitol, which can help reduce bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

  • Talk to your doctor if you need help getting dental care or making an appointment.

After your baby is born, continue to care for your teeth and now is the time to begin practicing smart dental habits for your baby.

  • Clean your baby s gums after every feeding even before the first teeth come in. Use a clean, damp washcloth or a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head made for babies.

  • Continue to use the toothbrush once the first tiny teeth have just poked through, brush your child's teeth twice a day and use a small smear of toothpaste.

  • Caring properly for these first baby teeth is important because:

  • They allow permanent teeth to develop and grow into the correct place in the mouth.

  • They help your child learn to speak correctly.

  • They help your children to chew their food properly.

  • It is very important to take care of your child's first set of teeth just like adult teeth.

  • Baby teeth can get cavities just like adult teeth and that can lead to more serious dental problems later on.

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