Having a baby is one of life’s wonderful mysteries, and can be one of the most joyful times in a woman’s life. With a new baby comes new experiences, new routines, and sleepless nights. Unfortunately, being the mom of an infant can also come with a greater risk for tooth decay. Dental care during pregnancy is extremely important, but it is just as important after.
There is a lot going on in the life of a newborn—feedings, diaper changes, mom’s own physical healing, and trying to keep all the balls in the air in general. It’s a lot to handle. Moms, often you are so concerned about keeping baby warm, fed, and happy, that it’s easy to neglect your own physical health. But, if baby is going to stay healthy, mom must also stay healthy—in body, mind…and teeth.
Schedule times to brush your teeth and floss.
New moms who are adjusting to life with a new baby are lucky to have time to take a shower, let alone brush their teeth. But smartphones are a wonderful invention for many reasons, and you don’t need an additional fancy app to help you remember to brush your teeth. Simply set a reminder or alarm on your phone that will remind you twice a day to brush your teeth. Determine a time that may work best, and set the reminders. Fortunately, brushing your teeth will only take two minutes, so it can be done really quickly. Getting your teeth brushed will go a long way in maintaining your dental health after you’ve had a baby. One fact that you may not think about is that tooth decay-causing germs from your mouth can be passed on to your baby, by sharing utensils or trying to “clean” a pacifier with your mouth.
Watch what you eat.
During the frantic newborn days, let’s be honest—it’s not easy to eat well, if at all. While grabbing comfort food and starchy snacks might be easy, these are foods that are bad for your teeth. Stock your refrigerator (or have a friend, husband, or your own mom stock it for you) with easy-to-grab, ready-made healthy snacks, and meal options. That way, when you are hungry and have a second to grab a bite to eat before the baby starts crying again, you have healthy foods ready to go that won’t damage your teeth. The other benefit to a healthy diet after baby is born, is the fact that eating a consistent, healthy diet will strengthen your teeth and gums. Limit your sugar intake, and focus instead on fruits, vegetables, and proteins, and on getting all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Avoid processed foods, and opt instead for fresh options.
Keep your semi-annual dentist appointment.
Leaving the house with a newborn can be a challenge for even the most experienced mom, and it’s easy to shove that semi-annual dentist appointment aside. However, there is no better time to keep that appointment, as your dental check-up can catch tooth erosion before you might be aware of the decay. This is also a prime time to ask your dentist about any issues you may be experiencing—issues that you might not address during this phase normally. That toothache you have started to notice, or more gum bleeding than normal—theses are issues that can be addressed during your dentist appointment. But, don’t forget to tell us if you are nursing, as this can affect how we treat any potential tooth problems. So, don’t reschedule. Bring the baby with you—we don’t mind!—or ask a family member or a trusted friend to watch the baby while you stop in. But, we offer fair warning—if you bring the baby with you, we may want oooh and aaah over your little one.