The Importance of Prenatal Dental Care

As a family practice, here at BlueBell Family Dentistry we have the unique privilege of treating patients of all ages. We love that we often get the chance to build long-term relationships with whole families, as we can treat every member and they can grow up with us from pediatric to general dental care! We often find ourselves watching our patients’ families grow, and we treat many expecting mothers. In order to best serve our patients, we wanted to share some important information about how prenatal dental care is necessary for the health of the mother as well as the child.

The Importance of Prenatal Dental Care

For You – If you are pregnant, dental care should be an essential part of your prenatal healthcare. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling during pregnancy. A pregnant mother’s oral health can actually be a useful indicator of whether or not she is getting all of the nutrients she needs.

For Your Child – Did you know that an expecting mother’s oral health can actually affect the oral health of their child once they are born? Studies have shown that pregnant mothers can actually pass down cavities and other dental issues to their children. The bacteria that causes these issues can be passed down to the child during pregnancy. Research has also shown evidence that periodontal (gum) disease in pregnant mothers can potentially increase the risk of concerns like preterm birth and low birth weight.

Nutrients You Need

We all know that phrase “eating for two,” right? Well when it comes to vitamins and minerals, its true! Building a baby is hard work. The fetus absorbs the calcium and other nutrients it needs to grow and develop from the mother’s diet. If you are pregnant, you will want to adjust your diet to make sure you are taking in enough vitamins and nutrition for the both of you. Your doctor will be able to keep track of your health through blood samples and checkups and help you determine which foods you need to focus on incorporating into your diet. They will also be able to help you determine if you need to add any supplements to your diet. Everyone’s needs are a little different, depending on health conditions and dietary restrictions, but most doctors suggest that their pregnant patients consume extra folic acid, B12, and iron. Of course, you’ll also want to drink plenty of water!

Keep Seeing Your Dentist!

During your pregnancy, be sure to continue to visit your dentist regularly as part of your prenatal health care to ensure that you are taking all of the precautions necessary to keep your smile and your baby healthy. When your baby is born, keep up with your biannual dental visits. Your postpartum health and oral care routines will likely be affected by your new life as a mother! We’ll be here to help you stay on top of your own oral health, as well as the oral health of your child once they get a little older!

 

We hope that we have been able to answer your questions. Parenting is a huge undertaking, and we love to help our patients keep their families smiling and healthy. If you’d like more information or are ready to schedule a dental appointment with us, please call our office today!