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Oral Health Care for Expecting Mothers and Infants

Published on Apr 24, 2017 and last reviewed on Jul 01, 2022   -  4 min read


Maintaining oral health is an important component of overall health in pregnant women and infants. The below article details the same.

Oral Health Care for Expecting Mothers and Infants


Oral health is a vital part of one's overall health. In women, oral health care is much more critical during pregnancy. Pregnancy may make women susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease and dental caries. Poor oral health in pregnant women can lead to poor health outcomes for the mother and baby, including pre-eclampsia, premature delivery, low birth weight baby, pregnancy granuloma, gingival tissue ulcerations, and pregnancy tumors. Oral health problems are also common in infants. Tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, pediatric gingivitis and gum disease, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and lip sucking are some of the oral problems seen in infants.


What Are the Common Oral Health Problems During Pregnancy?

These include:

What Are the Common Oral Health Problems in Infants?

Several problems affect infants' oral health, including:

What Are the Tips to Maintain Good Oral Health During Pregnancy?

Oral health is an important part of prenatal care. Following practices can help protect the oral health of expecting mothers:

What Are the Tips to Maintain Good Oral Health in Infants?

Parents should be encouraged to establish a good dental routine for children by 12 months. It should include the following.


Oral health is an essential component of overall health. It is also an important part of prenatal care. This is because pregnancy increases the risk of various dental health problems that may lead to complications like premature birth, pre-eclampsia, low birth weight, and other problems. Practicing healthy oral hygiene habits can prevent or lower the risk of oral health problems in expecting mothers and their unborn babies. Oral health problems are also often seen in infants. Therefore, maintenance and awareness are crucial to preventing dental problems in infants.


Frequently Asked Questions


How to Take Care of Oral Health During Pregnancy?

Ways to take care of oral health during pregnancy include:
- Brushing the teeth using fluoride-rich toothpaste.
- Using a floss.
- Following a balanced diet and avoiding sugary foods.
- Rining the mouth well after bouts of vomiting.
- Regular visits to the dentist.


What Is the Importance of Oral Health in Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can cause a lot of gum issues in a woman. These gum issues are caused due to fluctuating hormone levels. Poor oral health during pregnancy can harm both the mother and the child.


What Effects Does Poor Oral Health Have on Pregnancy?

Poor oral health in pregnancy can cause:
- Premature delivery.
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy).
- Pregnancy gingivitis and granuloma.


Can You Use Mouthwash During Pregnancy?

Using mouthwash is quite safe during pregnancy. It aids in keeping bacterial levels under control. But care should be taken to avoid swallowing the mouthwash. A mouthwash without alcohol content is preferable.


What Happens When You Do Not Brush the Teeth During Pregnancy?

Some women avoid brushing their teeth when pregnant as it may trigger vomiting. Brushing the molars can trigger a gag reflex in some women. When we do not brush our teeth during pregnancy, it may lead to cavities and gum issues which may become difficult to treat.


Is It Safe to Visit a Dentist During Early Pregnancy?

It is safe to visit a dentist at any point during pregnancy. A routine examination will also prevent the occurrence of any infection of the gums and teeth. However, informing the dentist about the pregnancy is advisable as they will take the necessary precautions, like adjusting the chair positions and avoiding X-rays.


How to Maintain Oral Hygiene in Babies?

Oral hygiene can be maintained in babies in the following ways:
- Wipe the gums using a clean cloth or gauze. 
- After the eruption, baby toothbrushes can be used to clean the teeth.
- Avoid putting the baby to sleep with a feeding bottle. 
- Feed the baby a balanced diet.


When Should Oral Hygiene Be Started for Babies?

Dental care for babies can be started as early as three months. The baby’s gum pads can be wiped with a gentle clean cloth or gauze. After the teeth erupt, baby toothbrushes can be used to clean the tooth.


Why Is a Child’s Oral Health Important?

Oral health is vital for overall well-being as this is where digestion begins. Good oral hygiene prevents many oral cavity disorders. It prevents decay formation and other gum issues. A child's oral hygiene habits should be started as early as three months, and brushing should be practiced after the first tooth eruption.

Last reviewed at:
01 Jul 2022  -  4 min read




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