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

ria that causes cavities, increasing their children's caries risk at an early age. Because cavities in infants are preventable, determining which mothers are at the highest risk improves opportunities for preventive intervention.

"Every expectant mother should receive a comprehensive oral health evaluation and risk assessment," said Dr. Largent. "Dental treatment is safe throughout pregnancy, and this is a time when expectant mothers need to be screened for oral risks, counseled on proper oral hygiene and receive necessary dental treatment."

The updated guidelines also address proper oral care for infants and toddlers, the age group most susceptible to early childhood caries (ECC), which is an infectious but preventable disease that causes tooth decay and potentially more serious health issues. When left untreated, ECC can affect speech and communication, eating and dietary nutrition, sleeping, learning, playing, and quality of life - even into adulthood. The guidelines outline how simple changes in a mother's oral hygiene, diet, use of topical fluoride and sharing of eating utensils can significantly reduce a child's risk for ECC.

Additionally, because physicians, nurses and other health care professionals see expectant or new mothers and their infants on a regular basis, the AAPD guidelines also encourage health care professionals to talk to their patients about proper oral care. In addition, the AAPD recommends that curriculum at medical, nursing and allied health professional programs include education in perinatal and infant oral health.

For more information on perinatal and infant oral health or to view the updated guidelines, visit www.aapd.org.

Overview of the new AAPD Oral Health Guidelines for expectant mothers and infants

  • Oral health education: Early inter
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SOURCE American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
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