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How Your Oral Health Can Affect Your Baby

women with baby

Expecting a baby? With so much excitement and so much to think about during this magical time, make sure not to overlook your oral health. Keep in mind that caring for your gums and teeth can potentially make a difference for your baby, before and after birth.

Pregnancy and Your Oral Health

Many future moms experience declining tooth and gum health due to various reasons. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the health of your gums and can cause pregnancy gingivitis which is characterized by inflamed, bleeding gums. If left untreated, the condition can progress to periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease that may lead to bone loss or even tooth loss. 

During pregnancy, expectant moms may feel exhausted at the end of the day and may skip nighttime brushing and flossing. This can lead to plaque and bacteria buildup, which in turn can cause gum disease and cavities. Morning sickness and frequent vomiting can also cause problems with stomach acids making their way to the mouth, weakening your tooth enamel and making your teeth more susceptible to decay.

Many expectant moms find themselves eating more than usual and craving sugary treats or beverages. Frequent snacking and grazing pose a risk to your teeth because they are constantly exposed to acids in food. Prenatal vitamins, which are often recommended for pregnant women, may also affect your oral health. Make sure to choose alternatives to chewy, gummy, or sugary supplements which can damage your teeth.  

How Your Oral Health Can Affect Your Baby         

With all the excitement getting ready for your little newcomer, it’s important to keep your oral health a top priority. Keeping your mouth healthy reflects on the health of your baby. Research has established a link between gum disease and premature delivery and lower birth weights. Premature birth puts your baby at risk of serious conditions including problems with eyesight and hearing. After birth, harmful bacteria in a new mom’s mouth can be passed to the baby, posing a risk of developing oral and health problem down the road.  

Many expectant moms are not aware that their baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth months of pregnancy. Eating a healthy, balanced diet keeps you and your baby healthy. Consume foods that rich in nutrients including protein, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C and D. This will help ensure that your baby’s teeth, gums, and bones develop properly.

Preventive Care at Home

If you are planning on having a baby, it’s a good idea to get your teeth checked and to get any needed dental treatments done before pregnancy. Make sure you brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal if possible. You should also floss carefully every day. You will need to get more frequent professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar which can cause tooth decay and gingivitis. 

Quality Pediatric Dental Care in Deer Valley, AZ

Pregnancy is an exciting time filled with anticipation and many new changes. We, at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry, are here to help answer any questions you have about keeping your precious newcomer’s little pearly whites healthy. We look forward to meeting your baby and helping establish the groundwork for a lifetime of oral health. We are here for you every step of the way!