Since you’re watching this right now, chances are very good that you’re about to have a baby. Congratulations! so am I! That’s why I’ve got this great big smile on my face and why I’m doing everything I can to keep that smile healthy. I’ve learned taking care of my teeth and gums is especially important right now. As you’ll see our dental health has a lot to do with our baby’s future dental health. Like the rest of our bodies, our mouths are going through a lot of changes. Have you noticed that your gums are sore now and bleed easily? I have I asked my dentist and she says this happens to many women. It’s called pregnancy gingivitis and it can appear as early as the first three months of pregnancy. An increase in hormones can exaggerate the way the gums react to plaque buildup. It’s the plaque, not your hormone levels that can lead to gum disease. Getting treatment now will make a difference in your health and the future health of your baby. So my dentist told me to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. I know you’ve heard this before. And floss everyday and especially now, don’t be a stranger to your dentist. If your last dental visit was more than six months ago, schedule an appointment soon. Tell the dental office you’re pregnant and your due date. This will help them provide the best care for you. Oral healthcare, including the use of x-rays, pain medication and local anesthesia is safe throughout pregnancy. What and how I eat is really important for us both right now. It’s all about a healthy diet when I need to snack, I try to choose foods that are nutritious for me and my baby. Your baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and six months of pregnancy. To help the teeth form correctly, they need enough vitamins minerals and other nutrients. I do my best to eat a variety of fruits, veggies and dairy products. All the good stuff while staying away from the foods that are high in sugar. It’s hard, but I know is for a very good cause and before you know it there’s a big change in your life but it’s still important to keep your mouth healthy as well as your baby’s. Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days by wiping the gums with a clean, damp a piece of gauze or washcloth. It’s important to remove as much bacteria as possible. Did you know bacteria causes tooth decay? My baby can actually catch bacteria from me, so I’ve got to keep my mouth healthy. My dentist told me not to share spoons or cups with my baby and not to lick her pacifier to clean it. Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s important to take good care of them. Baby teeth hold space in your child’s jaw for adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost due to decay, permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other teeth to come in. Decay can start as soon as those first teeth appear, especially when a baby’s teeth are in contact for long periods of time with sugary liquid like fruit juice, sweetened water, formula and even breast milk It’s called baby bottle tooth decay. So I never put my baby to bed with a bottle or sippy cup or use a bottle as a pacifier when she’s fussy. Ok now when can we expect to see those first baby teeth? Your baby’s first teeth will begin to appear as early as four to six months. The front two upper and two lower teeth usually appear first. Most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they’re three years old. The adult teeth start to appear at about age 6. But when teething begins and my baby’s gums are tender or sore, what can I do? Gently rub your child’s guns with a clean finger, a cool teething ring or wet gauze pad. But avoid gels or creams with benzocaine before the age of two. These products are meant for adults and shouldn’t be given to babies without talking to your dentist or pediatrician. And once those teeth start coming in what’s good for me is also good for her. My dentist told me to brush her teeth gently twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and water. And be sure to schedule your baby’s first trip to the dentist by at least that first birthday. Don’t wait for your child to start school or until there’s a dental emergency to get used to visiting the dentist. When your child’s a bit older, we’ll talk about flossing and starting to brush with just a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Hi, nice to see you both! Getting into a routine early will put your baby on the right path to a healthy smile from the start.