I have a confession… I've become one of those hygienist that inundate people with dental information when they least expect it. There is one subgroup in particular that I seem to really channel in on- expectant mothers. And I'm not picky to where I give my OHE lessons.
Mom Groups? You Betcha.
But here is the thing. There is a lot of research that shows that the healthier a mothers mouth is the healthier their babies mouth will be. Babies aren't born with bacteria and research shows babies tend to have their moms bacteria. I encourage expectant moms to get onto a xylitol regime ASAP.
In addition to helping prevent dental caries, xylitol has been linked to a decrease in ear infections.
Apparently the mom passing great bacteria is not the only thing that can help newborns- so can xylitol nasal spray.
The thing is xylitol gum can be a little spendy...(totally worth it in my opinion) but the nasal spray is NOT an expensive option and might be more doable for some patients.
There was a study done in the International Journal of Audiology where 10 babies had xylitol placed in their nose (2 drops each nostril) at every diaper change. And guess what? They had a 93 % reduction in ear infections. Ten babies is a small small sample size and when it was replicated it was only a 39 % decrease, but because the first study was more structured- I don’t think it can be completely discounted.
Hygiene Edge Tip: Have your patients place nasal spray by their babies changing stations and get those mamas chewing some xylitol. You could suggest they put xylitol gum by the change table and each time they change their baby, they chew a piece of gum.