i.Dentali.Dental

Mums and Babies

Are you a mother or going to be? This can be a very difficult and tiring period for you, however if you are an expecting mother or a mother of a young child, some of the following information may be interesting and applicable to you, covering some common conditions that you may come across.

For expecting Mums
A dental visit when expecting a baby can be a very daunting and uncomfortable experience. It is important especially so to have good oral health when expecting as some dental procedures cannot be carried out. An ideal time to visit the dentist for regular check-ups is during the second trimester as this is the time when pregnancies are more stable in general.

Certain dental procedures also are required to execute with caution, especially the taking of radiographs and usage of certain medications. If radiographs are absolutely necessary such in the case of acute infection, precautions such as lead aprons should always be worn and taken minimally. If possible, elective procedures such as whitening or minor dental surgeries can be delayed till after birth.

Also, due to the changes in hormone levels, there is an increased propensity for bleeding gums and swelling of the gums. In severe cases, the swelling can reach very large sizes, which is called a pregnancy epulis as shown below. In most cases they subside within the first few months post partum, however if they persist it is important to seek professional advice.

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Courtesy of http://twofronteeth.blogspot.sg/2010/01/oral-health-target-groups-pregnant-and.htm

Good oral hygiene is also important not only for preventing gum disease but also dental decay. Increases in food cravings especially of sweet and sour foods may increase risks of dental decay, hence requiring good oral hygiene practices including both flossing and brushing regularly.

For parents of young children
The baby is here! Looking after an infant’s oral hygiene is also important. The first teeth in the mouth are often during the second half of their first year approximately  7-11 months of age. Once any teeth are present, they also need to be looked after. Dental check-ups are recommended from the age of 1 year old to allow children to adapt to the dental clinic and become used to it. Oral hygiene habits should be similar to adults and brushing twice a day with a children’s toothpaste (lower fluoride levels) should be attempted as best possible. This should be done by parents till the age of about 6 and if possible supervised till the age of 8-10.

Most children and even most adults love sweets, candies and chocolate. It is difficult to completely cut out sugary foods from their diet, however they can be minimized to fewer frequencies a day and should be avoided after brushing teeth at night, prior to going to sleep. The term “baby bottle caries” has been used to describe decay as seen below whereby children have bottles of juice of even milk given to them in bed to help them to sleep, as seen below. If you start to notice yellowing or browning of your child’s teeth, or if they are having any pain or toothache at night, it is good to seek professional dental attention.

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Courtesy of http://seasons-of-smiles.com/dental-patient-education/baby-bottle-tooth-decay

Lastly, as children have their teeth erupting into the mouth, eruption cysts or eruption haematomas may be observed. They are often purplish or bluish in colour and may have some swelling around causing discomfort. Some may resolve on their own, however if persistent, a dentist can easily be seen and the underlying tooth can be exposed, allowing it to erupt into the mouth.

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Courtesy of http://www.ijdr.in/article.asp?issn=0970-9290;year=2011;volume=22;issue=1;spage=148;epage=151;aulast=Nagaveni

Good oral health practices start from young and if in any doubt, always do not hesitate to seek a professional opinion.