What can an expectant mother do to make sure her baby will grow up to have healthy teeth? There are two things that will make all the difference in the world.
One is the child’s genetic makeup, the genes he or she inherits from both parents. They will help determine the size, shape, texture, and other qualities of a child’s teeth. There’s nothing a parent can do to control this. It just happens.
But there is something an expectant mother can do to give baby a good dental start. She can do whatever possible to protect her health.
She should eat a well-balanced diet, as recommended by her physician. And she should avoid infection, including tooth decay and gum disease. Any infection can have unhealthy consequences for mother and child. Dental decay is literally an infectious disease, and it can be passed on from parent to child by the bacteria that cause it. A dental checkup and treatment will help eliminate any source of infection caused by decayed teeth or gum disease.
Once baby sees the light and the crying starts, you should start planning for that first visit to the dentist at about age three. That’s when all 20 of the primary teeth should have erupted and your dentist can evaluate progress or problems.
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