Why You Should Get Perinatal Checkups
As a future mother, starting a family is a beautiful moment that can last a lifetime. However, pregnancy comes with its challenges, and one of the most significant challenges women face while pregnant is maintaining their dental health. Most of all, your newborn will have to have a healthcare plan, meaning they will also need checkups for their oral health.
As pediatric dentists, our careers involve keeping children’s teeth healthy, but it doesn’t exclude the mother from the equation. Getting checkups for you and your newborn is especially important, and we’re here to provide some guidelines to follow to keep your oral health in top shape.
Why Do Perinatal Checkups Matter?
Mothers are exposed to more risks during pregnancy than throughout their lifetime as their immune systems are more prone to bacteria and disease. During the perinatal period, which begins approximately 20 to 28 weeks into the pregnancy and ends a few weeks after the baby is born, mothers are more prone to periodontal disease, alongside other issues such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature newborns.
Because expecting mothers are more prone to bacteria, their oral health tends to suffer more prominently throughout their pregnancy than during any other time. This is because of the intense hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Bacteria presented throughout the mouth can easily turn into gingivitis, which can transform into periodontal disease and tooth loss if not treated within the pregnancy period.
As dentists, we care about your oral health, and one of the best ways to treat this problem is through a perinatal checkup. Perinatal checkups can help provide better treatments and interventions in cases of periodontal disease and cavities during pregnancy. By treating these problems early on, your perinatal checkups can help reinforce good oral hygiene habits, including:
- Brushing and Flossing Twice Daily
- Chewing Sugar-Free Gum
- Changing Your Diet
- Scheduling Regular Appointments
How does infant dental care come into play? Infants can easily be exposed to cavity-causing bacteria from mothers and fathers through eating utensils, poor cleaning of pacifiers, and other means of poor hygiene. Paying attention to their oral health is crucial during this time, as it can help prevent the onset of cavities in the future.
Visiting your pediatric dentist for oral health can be an excellent start for this endeavor. Caring for their health early on can prevent worsening diseases from affecting their well-being. As pediatric dentists, we can help advise new and reoccurring mothers on cleaning pacifiers, cleaning and throwing away old sippy cups, and wiping down their gums to prevent cavities from developing on their baby teeth.
Contact Your Pediatric Dentist for Perinatal and Infant Dental Visits
If you have any questions or wish to learn more about taking care of your and your newborn’s oral health, schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist. By taking the time to see your dentist, you can protect your and your child’s oral health for life and have strategies in place for future oral care.