The Importance of Early Dental Health with the BC Dental Association

As a child growing up, I remember my regular visits to the dentist and how, after each visit, the dentist would determine my teeth were in excellent condition and that they remained cavity-free! It wasn’t until I became pregnant with Lil J back in 2009, that I realized how important dental health was during pregnancy.
In addition to the obvious physical changes your body endures while pregnant, it’s encouraged to maintain your regular dental checkups to ensure that your and baby’s health remains in top form. The main things I remember learning during my mass pregnancy research was that there is an increased risk of dental disease during pregnancy and flossing is extremely important. So much so that an occasional flosser, such as myself, started to floss once a day to ensure that my baby’s health had the best start possible. Other issues, such as the fact that bacteria in your mouth can transfer throughout your body possibly exposing health issues to your unborn child, definitely alarmed me and made me extremely conscious of the importance of maintaining my dental health.
The best steps to take to ensure your dental health during pregnancy are:

  • Maintain a good daily dental care routine including brushing and flossing
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Visit your dentist for a thorough exam to monitor and address any issues early on
After having your baby is born, it’s also important to ensure that your child’s dental health starts early on in his/her life. Many instances of early childhood tooth decay are preventable with regular visits to the dentist starting at one year of age or within six months of when you spot their first tooth. Not only are baby teeth essential for eating, they are also an important part of your child’s speech development and self-confidence, and can last until the ages of 13 or 14.
In order to teach my children the benefits of early dental health and make it a positive experience for them, I ensure that brushing is a routine that they do once every morning and again at nighttime. Honestly, I used to tell Lil J that if he didn’t brush his teeth, he would find bugs in his mouth. Probably not the best example but, surprisingly, it worked and he knew I was joking about the bug part! I also try to explain to Lil J about the importance of brushing and flossing, and which foods {sweets!} have a higher chance of giving him cavities.

Other ways you can teach your child and prevent tooth decay are:
  • Clean your baby’s mouth with a soft wet cloth
  • Brush your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears and make sure you lift his/her lip to brush along the gum line
  • Don’t let your baby/child fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled with anything other than water. Even milk has sugar, which can lead to baby bottle tooth decay
  • Develop a routine and make brushing fun!
Visit the British Columbia Dental Association's website for more information on how to best maintain you and your baby’s dental health.

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by the BC Dental Association via SheBlogs. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the BC Dental Association.

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