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Oral Health is Important | Print |

Prenatal Moms and Oral Health Care

Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and premature births or low-birth weight babies. Mothers can even pass on tooth decay causing germs to their babies. To enhance overall pregnancy health, expecting moms should make sure to see a oral health professional.

Children and Oral Health Care

Infants should see a dentist at the age of one as a preventive measure to dental problems. One of the biggest issues is bottle tooth decay or nursing cavities. This happens when the baby has a bottle or is nursing at night or during a nap. Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age. Encourage your baby to use a cup as much as possible when approaching their first birthday and especially when drinking juice. Unless it is advised by your child’s pediatric dentist, do not use fluoridated toothpaste until age 2-3 years. To clean your baby's teeth and gums, use a soft baby toothbrush, and gently rub the infants gums and any teeth with water.  

Adult and Senior Oral Health Care

Over the past 50 years, there has been great progress and improvement in the nation's oral health. Most middle-aged and younger Americans expect to keep their natural teeth over their lifetime. What can you do to maintain good oral health?

  • Daily oral care is important. Brush your teeth and gums with a soft bristle toothbrush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Use dental floss daily to clean between your teeth
  • Regularly drink fluoridated water
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between meal snacks. Avoid sugars and starches when snacking and limit the number of snacks eaten throughout the day
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Regular professional care is important even if you do not have natural teeth. An exam of the mouth can provide early detection of pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions
  • Taking good care of dentures is essential for good oral health. Keep your dentures clean and well fit. Dentures that do not fit well can cause irritations on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue. It is recommended that you remove your dentures while sleeping
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Limit alcohol
  • Talk to your physician and dentist if medications you take give you a dry mouth
  • Many elders are not able to perform effective daily oral hygiene. Caretakers should ensure that daily oral care is incorporated in daily general care.  

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