Prenatal Oral Health
If you are pregnant, you have special oral health needs. Some women may find their gums swell, bleed, and become red and tender. This condition, also known as pregnancy gingivitis, can be caused by an increase in hormone levels during pregnancy and poor oral home care habits.
It is important to schedule an exam with your dentist prior to or early in your pregnancy, and to have your teeth cleaned regularly. Delaying any needed dental treatment could pose a risk to your baby.
Several studies have shown a relationship between low-grade chronic infection in the mouth (periodontal disease) and preterm (delivery before 37 weeks), low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams) babies. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.
Good oral hygiene habits are important.
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least 2 times a day
- Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss
- Remember to brush your tongue.
The baby's teeth begin to develop in the third to sixth month of pregnancy. It is important to eat healthy and get adequate amounts of nutrients especially calcium, protein, phosphorous, and Vitamin A, C and D. Practice eating a healthy balanced diet and avoid snacking on sugary or starchy foods between meals.