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
For anticipatory guidance relating to injury prevention,
6, section 6.1.
For anticipatory guidance relating to infants and
young children with special health care needs, see Module
7, section 7.6.
- 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.