I want to share some INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION with you that was recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Infants need to visit the dentist, and infants need fluoride to make their teeth stronger! Even though baby teeth do fall out to give way to permanent adult teeth, they need to remain healthy as they can affect the health of the adult teeth underneath. And, pregnant mothers need to have a healthy oral environment so that they reduce the amount of dangerous bacteria they pass onto baby.
The Chicago Tribune‘s Danielle Braf reported on new recommendations for expecting mothers and children, and several were regarding oral care for both mothers and infants. According to the Tribune’s article, The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that infants are exposed to fluoride toothpaste once their teeth begin to come in, and that babies ingest fluoridated tap water rather than bottled water, and that mothers receive routine oral health assessments during pregnancy.
- How do you administer fluoride toothpaste to infants? Rub a grain-of-rice sized toothpaste on an infant’s teeth and let it stay there. Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth and prevents cavities.
- Use fluoridated tap water in sippy cups, or in bottles. Bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride.
In 2013, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that routine oral health assessments should be done during pregnancy, and they published that dental X-rays also are safe throughout pregnancy.
Pregnancy can result in changes in gums and teeth, and cavity-causing bacteria can be transmitted from mother to baby. About 40 percent of pregnant women in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, including inflammation of the gums, cavities and periodontics, so it’s important that they continue to have dental work done throughout their pregnancies. Root canals and filling cavities is permitted and encouraged during pregnancy!
I hope this helps you take care of yourself and your little ones!
Best, Dr. Frankel