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  1. Encourage pregnant patients to see a dentist during pregnancy and inform them of the possible link between poor oral health and pre-term birth.
  2. Ask mom/caregiver about his/her own and baby’s daily oral health routine.
    • Tell them they must brush their child’s teeth twice a daily with fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities.
  3. Make sure mom/caregiver knows to clean, and how to clean, baby’s teeth and gums after feedings and before bedtime.
  4. Educate mom/caregiver about proper brushing, benefits of fluoride, signs and symptoms of poor oral health for child.
    • Avoid juice drinks (i.e., punch) and soft drinks; juice should be 100% fruit juice, no more than 4 ounces a day, drank in one sitting, served in an open cup.
    • Oral disease is infectious – mom/caregiver should not share food, drinks, or utensils with child.
    • Do not lay baby down with a bottle at nap time or night time.
    • Do not use a sippy cup for your child.
  5. Ask parents/caregivers if they have questions about oral health.
  6. Help families determine the fluoride content of their tap water and encourage them to drink tap water if their water is fluoridated.
    • If tap water is not fluoridated, you may want to consider prescribing fluoride supplements.
  7. At the 6- and 9-month check up, add to mom/caregiver’s to-do list to schedule baby’s first dentist visit by their first birthday.
  8. Conduct a caries risk assessment using the AAPD’s Caries-risk Assessment Tool (CAT).
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