A simple guide for the oral health of mothers and infant children
Stop sharing germs!
I have been labeled “that overprotective mom” more than once. It wasn’t until dental hygiene school that I had a valid response for my nana when she would tell me “ Erin a few germs aren’t going to hurt anything.” Aside from the disgusting thought of others saliva going into my child’s mouth, cavity-causing bacteria (germs) are transmitted by saliva by sharing food, drinks, or utensils. Don’t be afraid to be “that” mom!
Begin motherhood with a healthy mouth!
Preventative dental care is a must while you are pregnant! As a dental hygienist, I recommend that my pregnant patients have two cleanings and any treatment completed before the little one comes. It is very typical for us mommies to put our appointments and health care needs aside once the little one comes. We already know that the bacteria causing tooth decay is transmissible. Taking care of active decay prior to birth of the little one, will significantly lessen the child’s risk of developing tooth decay.
Morning Sickness… UGH
Let’s make sure we are protecting our teeth as much as possible, we don’t need to add problems we don’t already have! If you vomit, rinse your mouth! Do NOT brush for at least thirty minutes! Gastric acid has a pH measure of about 1.5 – 3.5; battery acid pH is just below 1.0. Both levels are very acidic and quickly destroy tooth structure! Rinsing your mouth with tap water a few times will help raise the pH of the mouth to healthy levels. 1 teaspoon of baking soda added to a cup of water to rinse with will balance the pH much faster!
First steps to baby’s oral health
Most physicians forget to remind new mommies that it is important to care for baby’s mouth before baby teeth appear! I guess it is only fair to assume that the dental professionals have the mouth covered! It is not easy to guess when teeth are coming in, as soon as the first tooth breaks through, it is at risk for a cavity. Gently cleaning baby’s gums with a soft cloth after each feeding will start a healthy routine and make things lots easier for brushing and the first dental visit!
Preventing early decay
As a mom, I fully understand some things just aren’t easy to take away! Laying a baby down for a nap with a bottle filled with anything but water will increase the risk of tooth decay. I also know that sometimes you have to choose your battles, so if your little one insists on that bedtime bottle, have an extra one ready with water and just before they sleep switch it. That way when they stop sucking, the water will have washed the juice or milk away!
About the author: Erin Stelbrink is a Registered Dental Hygienist with 5+ years of experience as a licensed hygienist and oral health care professional. She holds a passion for researching the latest technologies and methods for providing valuable health care service and clinical treatment. Aside from clinical work, Erin serves as a product researcher and journalist for Smile Brilliant, a company providing professional teeth whitening from home and cavity prevention products. Erin is also mommy to a sweet, yet very sassy, 3 year old little girl named Bailee. Have more questions or wish to read more of Erin’s articles? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find more of her work on the Smile Brilliant Blog.
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