Oral Health Care for Women During Pregnancy

Taking care of your oral health during pregnancy is very important. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling during pregnancy.

Research has shown evidence that periodontal (gum disease) can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Talk to your physician or dentist about ways that your can prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy.

Additionally, mothers with poor oral health may be at a greater risk of passing the bacteria which causes cavities to their young children.

How to Reduce Bacteria Transmission to Children?

Mother’s should follow these steps to decrease the risks of spreading cavity-causing bacteria to their children:

1. Visit your dentist regularly.

2. Brush and floss on a daily basis to reduce bacterial plaque.

3. Eat a balanced diet and reduce the number of beverages and foods high in sugar and starches.

4. Use a fluoridated toothpaste recommended by the ADA and rinse every night with an alcohol-free, over the counter mouth rinse with 0.05% sodium fluoride in order to reduce your risk of developing caries.

5. Don’t share utensils, cups or food with your child. This will increase the risks of transmitting the cavity-causing bacteria to your child.

6. Use chewing gum sweetened with xylitol (4 pieces a day). Studies have shown that this will decrease your child’s risk of developing dental caries.