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What Pregnant New Moms Should Know About Oral Health

Objectives. Trainers will be able to teach moms about the importance of good oral health during pregnancy.Trainers will be able teach parents about how they can give their babies and young children the best possible chance of beginning life with great oral health and no decay!. Good Oral Health is Essential for a Healthy Pregnancy!.

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What Pregnant New Moms Should Know About Oral Health

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    1. What Pregnant & New Moms Should Know About Oral Health Training for Trainers Michelle Martin RDH, MPH Utah Department of Health Oral Health Program/ WIC

    2. Objectives Trainers will be able to teach moms about the importance of good oral health during pregnancy. Trainers will be able teach parents about how they can give their babies and young children the best possible chance of beginning life with great oral health and no decay!

    3. Good Oral Health is Essential for a Healthy Pregnancy! Numerous studies link periodontal (gum) disease with increased incidence of pre-term low-birth-weight babies (PLBW). There are now studies that show that preventive care at the right time during pregnancy may reduce the risk of PLBW.

    4. Healthy Pregnancies Require Good Nutrition…and something to chew it all with! A diet rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, folic acid, and so on is an essential part of the health and well-being of the pregnant mom and the unborn child. Limit sugary foods. Avoid sodas. Even Diet Coke has a lot of acid.

    5. Nasty Disease Decayed, infected, or missing teeth, along with swollen, bleeding gums, make eating difficult and in fact introduce bacteria to the system. According to CDC, Dental caries is an infectious disease. It is a transmissible disease from parent to child. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease in children. Eighty percent of decay occurs in 20% of the population. This 20% is low-income people.

    6. So What Does Mom Need to Know? Get a prompt dental check up as part of pregnancy care, this will help prevent infection transmission to the baby. The dentist may have to wait to take x-rays. But first, have her inform her dentist she is pregnant !!!

    7. Get Your Dental Disease Treated. Dental decay and infected teeth do not ever fix themselves. Decayed teeth need fillings. Infected teeth need a root canal or to be taken out. Most dental treatment is safe during pregnancy. Your dentist knows what treatment to give. Dentists have very good ways to make treatment comfortable.

    8. Why get a dental check up? The same blood that supplies the teeth & mouth is the same for the woman’s whole body. This can in turn affect the babies health. Get a check up early in pregnancy!!!

    9. And…Don’t Forget Your Gums! The bacteria that cause gum disease are strongly linked to increased chances of PLBW babies. Get a thorough teeth cleaning, preferably between weeks 22-26 of pregnancy. This appears to be the time of greatest benefit. Whether you have gum or tooth infection, this is not good for you or your baby.

    10. Develop Great Personal Habits Now! Use a soft brush to clean teeth at least twice a day with gentle circular motion from the gums to the teeth. Floss daily. Use a fluoride toothpaste with a ‘pea’ sized amount on the brush.

    11. Recommended products Look for “ADA” labels on toothpastes and mouth rinses. i.e. Listerine Spin brushes and electric TB’s are good for plaque control. However, they are not necessary for everyone. Change toothbrush every 3 months, or after cold or flu.

    12. How to Clean Teeth Correctly Use a soft brush, never a hard bristle one. Use just a little fluoride paste (pea sized). Begin at the gums and brush in a circular motion from gums to teeth. Make sure you brush the tooth surface behind the front teeth, along the back teeth on the tongue side, and between overlapped teeth.

    13. Flossing Take about 18”. Wrap each end around an index finger. Begin at one side of the mouth at the back & go from tooth to tooth. Gently snap the floss through the contact & rub the floss up & down along the tooth, going slightly below the gumline. Be gentle. Use a floss threader for getting between tight teeth or under bridges.

    14. Now Let’s Talk About Baby’s First Years

    15. Baby Teeth Matter Baby teeth are very important. They hold the place for the permanent teeth. Infected baby teeth hurt. They can cause fever & can make children feel sick & listless. Young children need to be able to eat good food, to look good, be able to speak without unnecessary impediment, & to feel good.

    16. Disease Process ECC (Early Childhood Caries) can be caused by bacteria Strep. mucans being passed from mother to infant, consequently, increasing the risk of the infant developing caries. Also, it can be caused by high risk factors. Many of these are behaviors that can be changed.

    17. Dental Treatment for Young Children is Serious If a child gets decay the problem must be treated. If children are very young when they have their first decay experience, they may need specialty care, or even treatment under general anesthetic. Serious cases are not only hard for the child; but often expensive and can usually be avoided.

    18. Dental Treatment is Expensive One small filling is $102 One infected tooth is $118 (pulp treatment) + $160 (stainless steel crown) General anesthesia is $2,000 Surgical Center is $2,500

    19. Prevention is Cheap Exams cost $40. Fluoride varnish costs $32. Toothbrush costs $2. Toothpaste costs $2.50. Good food is cheaper than junk food. Good habits are free.

    20. Children do not have to get decay Decay is an infectious disease. It is typically passed from mother to child. Decay that occurs in the first 5 years of life is called early childhood caries (ECC). ECC is a largely preventable disease.

    21. The Risk Factors for ECC Include: Mother has a high incidence of decay – treated or untreated. Baby is put to bed with a bottle. Bottle feeding past age 1 year. No fluoride supplements or fluoride in drinking water. The child’s teeth are not cleaned daily.

    22. Risk Factors Continued Frequent snacking: 3 or more times a day as well as regular meals. The child uses a pacifier dipped in honey, etc. The 1st teeth erupt before 6 mos. of age. The teeth have defects, pits or white spots. The child has taken liquid medicine for longer than 3 weeks.

    23. Mother Has High Decay Incidence Subjective: if she has 6 or more fillings or decayed teeth, then Strep. Mutans, the bacteria that cause decay, are present. It is transferred when baby’s food is tasted by mom using the same spoon, kisses on baby’s mouth, sharing cups etc. DON”T DO THIS! ?DON”T DO THIS! ?

    24. Baby’s bottle Bottle feeding should be an active activity not a passive one. Baby should not be put to bed with a bottle of formula or juice that can be sucked on over the course of several hours. This bathes the teeth in sugars.

    25. Bottle Feeding Past One Year Cup training should begin at 6 months, this reduces the risk. A baby should be weaned from the bottle by age 12 months. However, if a child wanders around the house with a sippy cup of Kool-Aid, not much has changed.

    26. Breastfeeding is Great Baby should be fed as needed, but not latched to the breast all night long. Baby’s teeth need to be wiped with a wash cloth twice a day so that plaque is removed. Breastfeeding can continue to the age that best works for mom and baby.

    27. Clean Baby’s Teeth Daily Cleaning the teeth daily reduces the risk of ECC even when there are other risk factors. Mom can wipe the teeth clean with a clean wash cloth during 1st months. As baby gets older, a soft, small tooth brush can be used to gently brush baby’s teeth. Use a ‘pea’ sized amount of toothpaste.

    28. Remember… Don’t let young children run around with a toothbrush, they could fall & be injured. Children do not have the dexterity to brush their own teeth correctly until they are old enough to tie their shoes. Let your child learn by trying, but then finish the job thoroughly yourself.

    29. Eating Habits GOOD Regular eating schedules Family meals Healthy snacks (baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, some crackers) BAD Candy, cookies, other sweets with lots of sugar Excessive juice Sodas, Kool-aid

    30. Juice Juice, although healthy, is high in natural sugars and should be consumed in moderation. Juice should be limited to no more than 4 ounces ( ½ cup) per day. Always choose 100% fruit juice, with no added sugars. Juice may be diluted to ‘stretch’ 4 ounces throughout the day. For example: mix 2 ounces of apple juice with 2 ounces of water. This allows your child to enjoy juice twice a day without compromising oral health.

    31. If the 1st Teeth Erupt Before 6 Months of Age. Baby teeth are not as calcified as permanent teeth, and do not have the same thickness of enamel for protection. If they erupt early, they are likely to be in the mouth longer and more exposed to causes of decay. Good habits can prevent problems.

    32. Fluoride Varnish This is effective in preventing tooth decay & remineralizing tooth structure. Can reduce up to 40% of dental caries. It is a slow release of fluoride ions into the dental enamel.

    33. Dental Check-Ups For some years now, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists has recommended the first check up at age one. Find a dentist who will see your child at this age. If a child is going to get ECC, the disease will begin within 2 months of eruption of teeth.

    34. It’s up to you… Taking good care of you as the mom, will give your baby a better start in life. Your baby needs you to make sure that she has a great start to a healthy mouth. You can do it!

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