Proper Oral Care for You and Your Baby

It is never too early to practice good oral care. And it’s never too late to start. Pregnancy and welcoming a newborn baby are two of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. It is also a time to focus on your dental care as an expectant mother. And it is time to think about care for your newborn.

Gum Disease and Pregnancy
A mother’s prenatal care includes dental care. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an ongoing bacterial infection that causes swelling. It involves the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Any infection during pregnancy is a concern. That includes infections of the gums.

Often people do not know that they have gum disease. Sometimes no signs appear until the disease is advanced. Successful treatment of gum disease has been shown to reduce complications of pregnancy. So it is important to watch for warnings. Those include swollen and red gums and gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Bad breath that doesn’t go away is another sign.
A baby’s health starts in the womb. Just as it is important for expectant mothers to eat healthy foods, plan to care for your gums and teeth.

When to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth
Good health habits should start as soon as your baby is born. Parents can spread bacteria into the child’s mouth by simply kissing them on the lips or sharing a spoon. That can cause decay. Baby teeth are important, so start your child’s oral health program even before their teeth come in.

Here are steps to help:

  • Don’t put baby to bed with a bottle
  • Clean your baby’s teeth with a cloth. Use a soft tooth brush as soon as teeth begin showing through the gums.
  • Limit sugared drinks
  • Take your baby in for a dental exam at 12 months

Ask your dentist about the risks of gum disease. You and the dentist can agree on care for your child. Check your plan benefits for coverage facts.
Learn more about gum disease. Research suggests a possible link to health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.

For more tips on oral health and your overall health, visit our website. Log in to Blue Access® for Members. Look for the “My Coverage” tab and then “Dental” to visit the Dental Wellness Center.

Prevention is Good
Daily care of your mouth can help manage, or even prevent, gum disease. Use these tips :

  • Pause to brush your teeth at least two times each day.
  • Flossing matters. Every day!
  • Aim to eat healthy foods
  • Avoid snacks that are filled with sugar
  • Visit your dentist twice a year

Call for that dental appointment today!

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics

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