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Maternal and Child Health Bureau logoA Health Professionals Guide to Pediatric Oral Health Management
HomeModuleModule 1: An Introduction to Infants' and Young Children's Oral HealthModule 2: Managing Infants' and Young Children's Oral HealthModule 3: Oral Conditions and AbnormalitiesModule 4: Prevention of Oral DiseaseModule 5: Non-Nutritive Sucking HabitsModule 6: Oral InjuryModule 7: Infants and Young Children with Special Health Care NeedsContentsGlossaryEvaluationHelp
Module 2: Managing Infants' and Young Children's Oral Health
Module Contents
Overview
2.1 Oral Development

Tooth Eruption and Loss
Teething
Malocclusion
2.2 Interview and Risk Assessment

During & After Pregnancy
During Infancy
During Early Childhood
2.3 Oral Screening
2.4 Behavior Management
2.5 Oral Examination
2.6 Anticipatory Guidance

For Pregnant Women,
New Mothers, or Other Intimate Caregivers
(current page)
For Parents of Infants

For Parents of
Young Children

2.7 The Dental Home
Key Points
Post-Test
References
Additional Resources



2.6 Anticipatory Guidance

As part of health supervision, health professionals can provide parents with anticipatory guidance. For parents of infants and young children, topics include oral development, tooth eruption, gum/tooth cleaning, fluoride, and caries transmission. Because dental caries is an infectious disease that can easily be transmitted from mother to infant, anticipatory guidance should be provided to pregnant women, new mothers, or other intimate caregivers.

For anticipatory guidance relating to nutrition, see Module 4, section 4.3. For anticipatory guidance relating to non-nutritive sucking habits, see Module 5. For anticipatory guidance relating to injury prevention, see Module 6, section 6.1. For anticipatory guidance relating to infants and young children with special health care needs, see Module 7, section 7.6.


Anticipatory Guidance to Share with Pregnant Women, New Mothers, or Other Intimate Caregivers

  • Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day (after breakfast and before bed) with fluoridated toothpaste, and floss daily. Spit out the toothpaste after brushing, but do not rinse with water. The small amount of fluoridated toothpaste that remains in the mouth helps prevent tooth decay.

  • Rinse every night with an alcohol-free over-the-counter fluoridated mouth rinse.

  • Visit a dentist for an examination and restoration of all active decay as soon as feasible. Hormonal changes (increases in estrogen and progesterone) that occur during pregnancy can increase a woman’s risk for developing gingivitis. With gingivitis, the gums become inflamed, swollen, and sensitive and tend to bleed.

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logo: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau