Guideline on perinatal oral health care.
Every expectant mother receives a comprehensive oral health evaluation from a dentist and, if not previously accomplished, establishes a dental home as early as possible during pregnancy. The first visit should consist of review of medical, dental, and dietary histories, risk assessment for caries and periodontal disease, diagnosis of disease and other conditions, oral health education, and anticipatory guidance. Radiographic assessment and treatment of oral conditions should be performed with attention to maternal and fetal safety and patient comfort.
All primary health care professionals who serve pregnant women provide education on the etiology and prevention of early childhood caries (ECC). Oral health counseling and referral for a comprehensive oral examination and treatment during pregnancy is especially important for the mother.
The curriculum of all medical, nursing, and allied health professional programs include education in perinatal oral health, including the infectious etiology of ECC, methods of oral health risk assessment, anticipatory guidance, and the need for early establishment of a dental home.
Parents/caregivers establish a dental home for infants by 12 months of age.
Legislators, policy makers and third party payors be educated about the benefits of perinatal intervention in order to support efforts that improve access to oral health care for pregnant women, including more frequent and comprehensive services.