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American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Releases New Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Guidelines
Date:6/10/2009

Expectant Mothers Should Consider Visiting a Dentist During Pregnancy; Infants Should Undergo Oral Health Assessment by Their First Birthday

CHICAGO, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the recognized leader in pediatric oral health, announced new oral health guidelines for expectant mothers and infants following its 62nd Annual Session in Honolulu, Hawaii. The guidelines call for all pregnant women to receive counseling and oral healthcare during pregnancy, and also that infants receive an oral health risk assessment and oral care by their first birthday. These steps will contribute to optimal oral health for both mom and baby.

"There is evidence associating periodontal disease and increased risk of preterm birth and low-birth weight," said AAPD's Immediate Past-President Dr. Beverly Largent. A recently published study found significant differences between women treated for periodontal disease and those who were not treated. The findings suggest that incorporating periodontal care may result in improved pregnancy outcomes.

"Because premature births have become the number one obstetric problem in the United States, we felt the need to provide more guidance about necessary oral care for expectant moms, in addition to promoting oral health as a key part of pregnant women's overall health," said Dr. Largent.

The guidelines are based on studies that suggest that proper dental care during the perinatal period may help prevent preterm and low-birth weight babies and is an important aspect of overall health for pregnant women - allowing them to enter delivery in optimal health. Many women, however, are unaware of the implications poor oral health can have on themselves and their babies and often don't seek oral care during pregnancy.

Additionally, mothers with poor oral health may be at greater risk of infecting their children with the bacte
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SOURCE American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
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