Tips for expecting and new moms marking their first Mother’s Day

Toronto, ON – As incredible as it may seem, good oral health begins in the womb!  With Mother’s Day approaching, the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) is reaching out to pregnant women and new moms about the importance of providing proper oral health care for their children, both inside and out.

Women’s hormonal levels change significantly during pregnancy. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, may occur any time for mom between the second and eighth month.  The most common issue dentists observe in pregnant women is that their gums can become inflamed and bleed more easily. 

“Inflamed gums result from changes in mouth bacteria that feed on the extra hormones secreted during pregnancy, and in the overall increase in fluid levels in the body as the pregnancy progresses,” says Dr. Arthur Worth, ODA President.  “Regular professional dental cleanings and the patient’s personal home care are key to reducing the inflammation that can occur during pregnancy and the chances of developing severe gingivitis – tell your dentist if you are pregnant and if you have observed any changes in your oral health.”

Babies’ teeth start developing in the first three months of pregnancy. The ODA recommends that a pregnant woman schedule an examination with her dentist during this time to have her oral health diagnosed.  “The dentist is the patient’s best source of advice on obtaining and maintaining excellent oral health, and this advice is even more important when a patient is pregnant,” says Dr. Worth.   

The baby’s first teeth start appearing between six and nine months of age, and the baby’s first trip to the dentist should be at this time.

Quick Tips to Prevent Early Tooth Decay in Children

  • Wipe gums and teeth, that are not large enough to brush, with a wet facecloth or gauze. 
  • After every feeding, clean the baby’s teeth with an infant toothbrush. Use plain water, not toothpaste, unless your dentist determines there is risk of decay. If so, your dentist will advise you on the appropriate use of toothpaste.
  • Do not test bottle temperature by first placing it in your mouth.
  • Do not transfer food from your mouth to your baby or infant’s mouth.
  • Do not let your baby sleep at the breast or with a bottle of formula or juice.

“The importance of a child’s first teeth should never be underestimated -- they help the child to eat and speak and also help the adult teeth to come in straight,” says Dr. Worth.  “An early dental visit allows the dentist to diagnose and correct any abnormalities that could affect the child’s oral health and overall growth and development.”

For more information:

Courtney Sorger                                                                        Bonnie Dean
Public Affairs & Communications                                                Public Affairs & Communications
416-355-2275                                                                            416-922-3900 x3314

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