Dental health throughout pregnancy and childhood

Dental health throughout pregnancy and childhood

Oral health programs for pregnant women and children

Preganancy and Dental Health Pamphlet

Information about oral health during pregnancy and Vermont’s expanded Medicaid benefit (pamphlet available for download)

Taking care of your mouth and teeth during pregnancy is important for you and your baby – during and after pregnancy, and throughout life. Maintaining dental health during pregnancy can give your baby a healthy start. Gum disease may lead to low birth weight or preterm birth, and cavities are contagious – cavity-causing bacteria can spread from mother to baby.

Dental care, including X-rays and local anesthesia, is safe during pregnancy. In Vermont, pregnant women who are insured by Medicaid have no dollar limit on covered dental services during pregnancy and for two months after the end of pregnancy. Tips for maintaining a healthy mouth during pregnancy can be found here and here

Oral health for babies & children

Your children’s teeth, including baby teeth, play an important role in their overall health by helping them chew healthy foods and speak clearly.

Dental caries (cavities) is the most common chronic disease in children, despite being almost 100% preventable. Untreated cavities affect the child’s overall health and may lead to problems with eating, speaking, and learning. Every year, approximately 400 Vermont Medicaid-eligible children under age 6 are treated in the hospital for preventable dental problems.

Children who have untreated cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to get cavities in their permanent teeth.

Children who are insured by Medicaid in Vermont can receive dental care through Dr. Dynasaur.

Three proven strategies to prevent cavities:

Vermont’s Public Health Dental Hygienist program

This program provides families enrolled in WIC with the opportunity to meet with a dental hygienist to receive oral health education and help finding a local dental office that accepts their insurance.

  • Public health dental hygienists deliver community education by doing outreach and training to medical and dental providers and supporting community organizations.
  • They also support prevention programs such as community water fluoridation, the 802 Smiles Network of School Dental Health Programs and access to care.

To learn more about Public Health Hygienists, check out this brief document that describes their work. Read the detailed report.

Vermont’s 802 Smiles program

The 802 Smiles Network of School Dental Health Programs connects the different school dental health programs in Vermont under one umbrella to improve oral health for all Vermont children.

  • When a school becomes a member of the 802 Smiles Network, they can select to provide different levels of services to their students, from dental health education and onsite treatments—to transportation and restorative services, such as fillings.
  • The different tiers are laid out in this infographic.

We welcome and encourage new schools to join our network and the effort to promote dental health in Vermont youth. Email [email protected] or call (802) 863-7330 for more information.

More oral health resources for pregnancy & childhood