Parents To Be:
Being pregnant is an amazing journey, a time of excitement, and many changes. There are numerous things for the new parents to consider. Toward the end of the pregnancy, parents should begin to think about their baby’s oral health. Prevention is the key.
The baby’s teeth begin to develop in the 2nd month of the pregnancy. The mother’s nutrition is very important for the developing teeth. The outer layer of the tooth is called enamel. The enamel is more resistant to cavities if the mother’s diet is balanced and healthy. A variety of vitamins (A, C, and D), proteins, calcium, and phosphorous are the nutrients a mother should include in her diet. These nutrients help harden the enamel. The harder the enamel is, the more resistant to decay and the less likely to get a cavity.
One of the most difficult aspects of being new parents is the lack of sleep. Out of desperation, exhausted parents often give the baby a bottle at night in bed or allow it to fall asleep at the breast. This is the biggest mistake a parent can make. It is creating a bad habit that is VERY difficult to break. When a baby goes to bed with a bottle, it is then at HIGH RISK for decay because the milk pools around the teeth eating away at the enamel. Obviously, initially the baby has no teeth, but if started, the habit won’t easily be broken at 6 months when the teeth appear.
Important things to know:
1) The bacteria in the mouth which causes cavities will transmit from parents to baby as parents hug and kiss their children.
2) Chewing Xylitol gum decreases this bacteria. Parents should begin chewing Xylitol gum 3 months prior to the birth of the baby.
3) Parent’s mouths should be healthy and decay free.