What Every Expectant Mother Should Know
Oral Healthcare During Pregnancy
A balanced diet is critical for the proper development of an unborn child. Teeth begin to form in a fetus during the second month of pregnancy and calcify between the third to sixth months of pregnancy. A balanced diet that provides adequate amount of vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium, and phosphorus helps develop healthy teeth. Inadequate nutrition may result in poorly-formed tooth enamel that may make a child more likely to develop cavities once the baby teeth have erupted.
A mother’s decay-causing bacteria can be transmitted to her child, so it is important to have your teeth cavity free before the child’s birth. Excellent oral hygiene during pregnancy is paramount not only for you but also for the child. Plaque that is not removed can cause gingivitis and eventually gum disease (periodontitis).
There is new research suggesting a link between gum disease in pregnant women and premature low birth weight babies. Conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, this recent study suggests that every year as many as 45,500 premature births may be linked to gum disease. That’s 19% of the 250,000 premature babies born every year, which is more than attributed to smoking and alcohol use combined.