Keeping your mouth clean and healthy during pregnancy is the best thing you can do to improve prenatal oral health.
Mom’s to be can develop bleeding and inflammation of the gums due to hormonal changes. This condition, called pregnancy gingivitis, can affect your developing baby’s health and requires a prompt visit to the dentist.
Regular dental visits
Visits should occur at least biannually and should include:
- Exam by the dentist
- Thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist
- Reminder and review of proper brushing and flossing
- Updated health history with a complete list of all your current prescription and over the counter medications (that includes vitamin supplements)*
*Some medications you take can affect your baby’s teeth during development
Baby’s tooth development starts about the 6th week of pregnancy. That’s when the enamel starts to form. Enamel is the outer layer of the tooth and is the hardest substance in your body.. That is what everyone sees when you smile. People notice if your teeth or white or stained or dark. What they are really looking at is the color of your tooth enamel.
Odds & Ends
Some things about oral health during pregnancy to remember:
- Gum disease in pregnant women could be a cause of infant premature deliver and low birth rate.
- Children have four times the risk of tooth decay when their mom had untreated tooth decay during pregnancy.
- Gingivitis (inflamed gums) occurs in over 50% of pregnant women.
- Bacteria from Mom can be transferred to the fetus during tooth development.
- Good nutrition during pregnancy affects the developmental health of your baby’s teeth.
- Smoking during pregnancy will negatively impact your baby’s overall health, including their teeth.
Beautiful smiles for both Mom and Baby start before birth. Taking care of your teeth when you’re pregnant is more that just taking care of you…it is taking care of you baby too!