Welcoming a new baby can be an exciting time for new parents. Holding and bonding with your baby, or marveling at their facial expressions, such as a smile, are some of the most enjoyable moments for every parent.

Along with the joy, comes caring for your baby. Baby care basics such as feeding, bathing, changing diapers, cleaning your baby’s gums, and other baby needs, soon become part of daily life. As new parents adapt to parenthood, it is also important for parents to care for their overall health. This includes their oral, mental, and physical health. Overall health is essential during pregnancy and after.

Caring for your oral health

Caring for your new little bundle of joy may give you less time to care for your oral health. Some new parents may neglect or even forget about their daily oral hygiene. This can increase the risk of dental disease that can affect your overall health.

Your oral health continues to be essential after childbirth. Practicing good oral care habits after your new baby arrives can help prevent oral health problems such as cavities and gum disease that can have a negative impact on you and your newborn. Follow the oral health/hygiene steps below:

Make daily oral care one of your top priorities. Share your healthy smile with your baby!

  • Brush your teeth twice (2) a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss every day.
  • Use a fluoridated, alcohol-free mouth rinse with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Visit your dentist regularly. Early detection can prevent future oral health issues. Get an early start on your baby’s oral care.

  • Routine dental cleanings and exams can help you have a healthy mouth and minimize major dental treatment. This can help reduce the amount of time you are away from your little one.
  • Less dental treatments may mean less medications. This is important, especially if you are nursing your baby.
  • This is a great time to speak with the dental staff about your infant’s oral care and establishing a dental home.

Medi-Cal Dental covers pregnancy and 12 months after the birth of your baby.

The Medi-Cal Dental Program provides free or low-cost dental services during your pregnancy. As a Medi-Cal member, you are also covered 12 months after the birth of your baby.

You can continue to receive all the covered dental procedures, such as a dental exam, professional dental cleaning, and other dental services provided as a Medi-Cal member. Click here for services covered by Medi-Cal Dental.

Smile, California has a variety of free resources made especially for Medi-Cal members and their families. These resources are available in English and Spanish and can help answer questions you may have about the Medi-Cal Dental Program, covered dental services, and how to find a Medi-Cal dental provider. To access these resources and find a dentist near you, visit SmileCalifornia.org.

Caring for your mental and physical health

Caring for your little one can be overwhelming at times. It can be easy to put-off your well-being. Here are some wellness suggestions to help you enjoy parenthood:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains are foods that can provide you with the fuel to get you through the day. Try to limit sugary snacks and beverages, and processed foods.
  • Exercise. Even in small amounts, exercise can boost your energy level and relieve stress. Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
  • Get some rest. Try and sleep or rest when your baby sleeps. This can help increase your energy levels and improve your mood.
  • Maintain close relationships with friends. Support from friends can help increase your sense of belonging, boost happiness, and help improve self-confidence.
  • Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends, whether it’s caring for the baby or doing household chores.
  • Stay away from substance use. Substance use can cause serious health problems for you, your baby, and your family. Parents with substance use may not be able to care for their child well.

Related Resources:


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