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Perinatal and Infant Oral Health

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling during pregnancy. Research has shown evidence that periodontal disease can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Talk to your doctor or dentist about ways you can prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy.

Additionally, mothers with poor oral health may be at a greater risk of passing the bacteria which causes cavities to their young children.  Mother’s should follow these simple steps to decrease
the risk of spreading cavity-causing bacteria:

  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Brush and floss daily to reduce bacterial plaque.
  • Follow proper diet, with the reduction of beverages and foods high in sugar and starch.
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste recommended by the ADA and rinse every night with an alcohol-free, over-the-counter mouth rinse with .05% sodium fluoride to reduce plaque levels.
  • Don’t share utensils, cups or food which can cause the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria to your children.
  • Use of xylitol chewing gum (4 pieces per day by the mother) can decrease a child’s caries rate.