Proper Oral Care for You and Your Baby

It is never too early or too late to practice dental care. Pregnancy and greeting a new born baby are exciting times in your life. They are also good times to focus on your dental care as an expectant mother.

Pregnancy and Gum Disease
Dental care is an important part of prenatal care. Periodontal, or gum, disease is a chronic bacterial infection. It can cause swelling of the gums and even harm the bone supporting the teeth. Any infection during pregnancy , including infections of the mouth, is cause for concern.

Often there are no early signs until the disease. So many people do not know that they even have gum disease. But because successful treatment has been shown to reduce complications of pregnancy, it is important to watch for warning signs. Signs include red and swollen gums or bleeding, and lingering bad breath.

Your baby’s good health starts in the womb. So you should eat healthy foods and also care for your teeth and gums.

When to Start Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth
Once your baby is born, healthy habits should start right away. Adults can transfer decay-causing bacteria to the child’s mouth by simply sharing a spoon or kissing them on the lips. Baby teeth are important, so plan to start your child’s oral health program even before the first tooth appears.

Here are some simple tips:
Use a cloth to wipe your baby’s gums and then a soft brush as soon as teeth begin showing through the gums

  • Never give your baby a bottle when you put them to bed
  • Avoid giving your baby sugared drinks and offer juices sparingly
  • Plan to take your baby in for a dental exam around the first birthday
  • Talk to your dentist about the good care and the risks of gum disease. You and your dentist can work out what is right for your child .

Research suggests a possible link between gum disease and health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Review plan benefits for coverage details. For more information on the link between oral health and your overall health, visit our website. Log in to Blue Access® for Members , go to the “My Coverage” tab and then click on “Dental” to visit the Dental Wellness Center.

Prevention is Time Well Spent
Careful daily care of your mouth can help control or even prevent gum disease. Try these tips:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Avoid sugary snacks
  • Brush your teeth after meals and at least two or more times each day.
  • Don’t forget to floss at least once a day
  • Schedule regular dentist visits. Two times each year is good.

Remember to make your dental appointment today!

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics

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