Article at a Glance
- Expectant mothers are at greater risk for gum disease and cavities.
- Moms of young children should schedule family trips to the dentist and make brushing and flossing fun family bonding.
- Moms of older kids can reinforce the need for good oral care routines and give them more responsibility and teach them valuable adult skills, like scheduling dental appointments.
Mother’s Day 2019 is May 12th, so it’s time to recognize all of the moms in your life who give so much of themselves for their families. Flowers, chocolate, and chore coupons are excellent ways to show a mom you care, but it’s also a great time to remind her to take care of herself.
Dental Care Tips for Expectant Mothers
When you’re pregnant, your biggest concern is delivering a healthy baby, but part of that journey involves taking care of yourself. A healthy mom and baby are the ideal situation and that means expectant mothers need to look after their oral health. Poor oral health can lead to complications for you and your child. Unfortunately, 42% of pregnant women skip the dentist during pregnancy and only half of those who do go follow prescribed treatment.
Pregnancy can take a toll on your body. When pregnant, you are at greater risk for some oral health issues like gum disease and cavities. Educating yourself and taking extra precautions during pregnancy can help.
- Due to increased acidity in the mouth, morning sickness, and cravings for sugary or acidic snacks, pregnant women are at greater risk for cavities. Taking extra care with your oral care routine is necessary to prevent cavities.
- Gingivitis is the most common oral disease related to pregnancy and affects 60-75% of women. Antiseptic mouthwash with a good oral care routine can help, but a professional deep cleaning may be necessary.
- Periodontitis, or gum disease, has been associated with low birth weight and preterm birth. A proper oral care routine is crucial, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis before.
Dental Care Tips for Mothers with Young Children
Sleepless nights, playdates, and picky eaters leave moms feeling exhausted. This usually translates to neglecting things like showers, meals, and oral care. As any experienced mom can tell you, this need to put your kids first doesn’t go away. However, taking time to care for yourself sets an example for your children that may be more important than anything else you do.
A study in New Zealand suggests that moms who neglect their oral health have kids who are more likely to have poor oral health as adults. Though environment and genetics play a part in oral health, teaching your children to follow good oral care routines is a big step in ensuring their smiles last a lifetime.
Making oral care routines a family affair from an early age, moms can care for themselves, teach their kids how to care for their teeth, and add another opportunity for bonding. Make biannual dental visits a family affair so you don’t miss out on necessary check-ups and teeth cleanings. You can also make oral care a fun bonding experience by brushing and flossing as a family.
Dental Care Tips for Mothers with Older Children
As children grow up, they are able to take on more responsibility which can really help busy moms stay on track. Giving your tweens and teens the opportunity to handle their own dental care teaches independence and can remove items off your to-do list.
- Older children probably don’t need mom standing over them to ensure they brush long enough. Timers or apps on phones can give your older kids some independence and free you up to do something else.
- Teach your teens valuable life skills by having them make the family dental appointments. They learn to talk over the phone, what information to give, and how to work a schedule.
- Charge your older children with keeping track of when it’s time to replace toothbrushes and monitor dental hygiene supplies.
- Have your older children help create meal plans with foods that are good for your teeth.
- Teaching your kids to be more independent is a natural progression, but it doesn’t mean you can neglect yourself.
The Importance of Parental Dental Care
Moms tend to put their kids first, but it could be argued that caring for yourself is a part of that. Kids look to their parents for guidance, even when they are teens who want to go their own ways. Modeling good oral care habits teaches your kids the importance of caring for your teeth.
If you’re a mom who’s guilty of putting off a check-up and professional teeth cleaning, now’s the time to do something about it. Contact the Jefferson Dental Care clinic nearest you to make an appointment today and start caring for yourself as much as you care for your family.