Frequently Asked Questions: Pregnancy and Children.
Q. Why is it so important for pregnant women to visit their dentist?
A. Hormonal changes in a pregnant woman's body can result in gum problems, including swelling and bleeding, so it's important to visit your dentist and keep up with routine appointments.
Q. When should I bring my baby to the dentist for the first time?
A. A baby's first teeth appear at around six months old but, unless there's a problem, we would not normally examine them until the last baby teeth appear at around 26 to 36 months. But try to introduce your baby to the dentist as soon as possible by bringing them with you on your next check up. This will help your baby to get used to the practice, become familiar with the dentist and feel more comfortable when we count their teeth for the first time.
A. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps fight tooth decay. If your water supply does not already contain fluoride, it can be beneficial to give your baby fluoride supplements from about the age of 6 months. But always take advice from your dentist first.
Q. Is it safe to have dental treatment when I'm pregnant?
A. Any dental treatment is safe during pregnancy but it's better to avoid x-ray and, unless the treatment is urgent, it's usually better to wait until after the baby is born. The Department of Health advises against replacing amalgam fillings during pregnancy, but this can be done safely if it's absolutely necessary.
Q. Are low sugar drinks better for my child's teeth?
A. They're certainly better than drinks that contain lots of sugar, but even low sugar drinks can cause cavities. It's always better to give your child water or milk, and always make sure their teeth are brushed after drinking any sweetened or fizzy drinks.
Q. When is the best time to start brushing my baby's teeth?
A. It's best to start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as they come through.
Q. What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
A. Use a special baby toothbrush with water or a ‘milk teeth' toothpaste to gently brush your baby's teeth and gums. Only use a small amount of toothpaste as babies usually swallow it. For more information on infant dental care, ask your dentist.
Q. When should I encourage my baby to stop sucking a dummy?
A. A dummy can affect the growth of a child's jaws if the child continues to use it beyond 16 to 24 months. But before this age a dummy will do no real harm.
Q. What can I do to relieve my baby's teething pains?
A. Consult your dentist to check that there is no other cause of the pain. If your child is definitely suffering from teething pain, then the recommended dose of Calpol or a teething gel can help.