Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Care
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This best practice presents recommendations regarding perinatal and infant oral health care, including caries risk assessment, anticipatory guidance, preventive strategies, and therapeutic interventions. Oral healthcare providers play an invaluable role in optimizing the oral health of infants, particularly through the establishment of a dental home, caries prevention, and management of common oral conditions. Relevant oral findings including developmental cysts, pathognomonic viral and fungal lesions, cleft lip and palate, natal and neonatal teeth, ankyloglossia, and tooth eruption are discussed. The document emphasizes the importance of dental visits during pregnancy and highlights feeding practices and caries risk factors during infancy. Strategies for prevention of early childhood caries, including dietary modifications and use of fluoride, are encouraged. Additional elements of anticipatory guidance addressed are oral hygiene instruction, frequency of dental examinations, consequences of nonnutritive sucking habits, and safety practices to avoid orofacial trauma. Providers may use this document to help frame discussions with expectant and new parents regarding essential aspects of perinatal and infant oral health.
This document was developed through a collaborative effort of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Councils on Clinical Affairs and Scientific Affairs to offer updated information and recommendations regarding perinatal and infant oral health care.
KEYWORDS: ANTICIPATORY GUIDANCE, INFANT ORAL HEALTH, PERINATAL ORAL HEALTH, ORAL HYGIENE INSTRUCTION, CARIES RISK FACTORS, DENTAL HOME