When expecting a baby, it’s critical to consider the health of both the mother and baby, but the mouth health of the mother is often overlooked in pregnancy. Routine dental care is an important part of a mother’s care while pregnant because the health of her mouth affects her overall health and the health of the baby. Research has shown that poor maternal mouth health can have a big impact on the health of her children. A study performed in 1996 by Dr. Steven Offenbacher at UNC Chapel Hill found that there is a sevenfold increase in the risk of low birth weight and preterm infants in mothers with gingivitis. He also found that pregnant women are ten times more likely to develop cavities than non-pregnant women, and seven times more likely to develop gingivitis. This is caused by the hormonal changes a woman’s body endures during pregnancy that can encourage bacterial growth and negatively affect cellular immunity. Morning sickness may also lead to pregnant women avoiding regularly brushing their teeth, which increases the risk of tooth decay.
So what should expectant mothers do?
If possible and you are planning your pregnancy, make an appointment with your dentist before conceiving. Your teeth and gums should be assessed so that all mouth health problems can be treated before you get pregnant.
This will also allow you and your dentist to be more aware of changes in your mouth while pregnant.
There are many reasons to visit your dentist while pregnant! It is safe and recommended to have routine care and cleaning procedures during your pregnancy, including scaling, polishing, and root planting. Be sure to mention to your dentist and hygienist that you are expecting and postpone x-rays and dental procedures that are not urgent or affect mom or baby’s immediate health. Tell your dentist if you have experienced any changes in your mouth health during your pregnancy and return shortly after your baby is born to have your mouth reexamined and take care of any issues.
Our team at Reflections Dental Care would be honored to be a part of your pregnancy and help ensure you and your baby are healthy! We also have a dentist on our team who is gifted at working with young children and would love to care for your child in the future.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit us online or give us a call!
Visit us at one of our two locations in Oklahoma City:
* 1108 NW 16th at Classen Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73106 * 10924 Hefner Pointe Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73120