Making Sure During Pregnancy That Your Baby Has Healthy Teeth
Expectant moms will want to make sure their child has the best possible start in life and a baby’s teeth have already started to form five or six weeks after conception, so it is never too early to consider their dental health. By the time a baby is born nearly all twenty of their primary or milk teeth are completely formed. If you are expecting a baby, the best way you can help them to have healthy teeth and jaws is to look after your own dental health and your general health during pregnancy.
Eating a Healthy Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy and well balanced diet that doesn’t contain too many sugary or starchy snacks will help protect your general and dental health. This diet should contain plenty of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and phosphorus to help build your baby’s teeth and bones. One common myth is that calcium for a developing baby’s teeth comes from the mother’s teeth, as the truth is that this mineral is obtained from your diet. It’s possible this theory came about as a result of an old wives’ tale stating that you would lose a tooth for each baby you had. If you are unfortunate to lose a tooth then it will be due to some other reason and is more likely to result from gum disease.
Caring for Your Teeth and Gums During Pregnancy
Hormones change considerably during pregnancy and this can affect your gum health. A condition called pregnancy gingivitis is particularly common between the second and eight months of pregnancy and is caused by the gum tissues becoming more sensitive to plaque bacteria, thanks to an increase in progesterone levels. This increase in sensitivity can mean the gums are more likely to become red and inflamed and they could bleed whenever you brush or floss. Although this condition is common, your dentist can help you avoid it with more regular professional cleanings as this will remove hardened plaque from your teeth, reducing the risk of inflamed gums. At the same time, you will need to be vigilant about your dental health as it is even more important than normal to brush at least twice a day and to floss once a day.
Fluoride and Pregnancy
Fluoride is important for strong teeth and bones and some women will take fluoride supplements during pregnancy. This won’t necessarily help give an unborn child strong teeth as fluoride is most effective when teeth have fully formed and have already erupted in the mouth.
Booking Your Baby’s First Dental Visit
Once your child is born, we recommend you book their very first dental visit soon after that first tooth comes through their gums, or soon after their first birthday. You’ll find the excellent pediatric dentists at the Kids Dentistry Center, including Dr. Marina Krepkh, will be able to give you far more practical advice about fluoride and how best to look after your baby’s first teeth. By looking after your own health during pregnancy, you’ll have given your kid the very best possible start in life. With the right dental care, we can help ensure they enjoy a healthy smile for life.