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Oral Health Essentials: A Guide for Expectant Mothers and Babies health news

This year the global theme of World Oral Health Day was, “A healthy mouth is a healthy body” which emphasizes the importance of maintaining good oral health not only to prevent dental problems but also to create awareness about the importance of oral health which is often neglected. .. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poor oral health is often associated with other chronic diseases such as diabetes and serious heart disease. This is especially significant for expectant mothers, as oral health during pregnancy can affect both maternal and fetal health. Dr. Renu Parmar, MDS-Orthodontics shares a guide to oral health needs for expectant mothers and babies.

Importance of oral health in expectant mothers.

Pregnant mothers are at a higher risk of developing oral problems due to hormonal changes that can lead to gum disease, gingivitis and tooth decay. Poor oral health during pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia. Additionally, untreated dental infections can potentially spread to other parts of the body, posing risks to both the mother and the developing baby.

Importance of oral health in children

Children’s oral health is closely related to their overall health and development. Poor oral health in children can lead to problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and mouth infections, which can affect their eating, speaking ability and their overall confidence level. Childhood caries, also known as baby bottle tooth decay, is a common oral health problem in children caused by prolonged exposure to sugary liquids such as milk or juice.

Oral health for children born with congenital differences such as clefts

In India, more than 35,000 babies are born with clefts every year. Although all children who lack proper oral health care and practice are susceptible to oral health problems, those with clefts face unique oral health challenges and have different dental care needs. A cleft is a gap in the lip and/or palate that can affect the development of the mouth, teeth and palate, tooth decay, gum disease potentially leading to difficulty eating and difficulty speaking. If neglected, they may even lose teeth at a young age. Because children born with clefts have unique oral health needs, they must receive regular dental check-ups and specialized dental care services.

Tips for maintaining good oral health:

1. Babies start teething at the age of six months. Therefore, it is recommended to use a small-headed soft brush to clean teeth and gums with fluoride toothpaste stains.
2. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss to remove plaque and food particles.
3. Eating a balanced diet is essential for maintaining oral hygiene. One must limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks and choose nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products and lean proteins to improve oral health.
4. Regular visits to the dentist ensure early detection and treatment
5. Expectant mothers should especially avoid smoking and alcohol consumption as this can increase the risk of gum disease and other oral health problems.
6. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help wash away food particles and keep your face moist.
7. Children with clefts often require orthodontic services that focus on maintaining oral hygiene, aligning teeth, monitoring facial growth, etc. The child may require treatment at different stages of development based on the surgical procedure required.

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