This post was written by Jessica Garcia, Milwaukee Community Relations Coordinator.
“You’re pregnant!? Congratulations! Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?”
“The gender doesn’t matter, as long as they’re healthy.”
How many times have we heard expectant parents say this? There is so much information to absorb about what and what not to do while expecting. One very important, and often overlooked, key to having a healthy baby is the mother’s oral health.
Recent studies have shown a direct link between pregnancy gingivitis and low birth weight, preterm babies.
We all know that for many mommies-to-be, food cravings attack often. More eating means more buildup on teeth, which then hardens into plaque a “soft, sticky film…that contains millions of bacteria”. During pregnancy, there is a surge of the hormones estrogen and progesterone which directly affect the way gum tissue reacts to plaque.
Plaque that remains on the teeth may cause gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease in which the gums become very tender, swollen and bleed easily due to the excess of bacteria present. In some instances, if gingivitis is left untreated, the bacteria can travel to the uterus, initiating production of a chemical that can cause early labor. As with any other bacterial infection, it is important to rid our system of it. How do we do this?
Familia Dental recommends: brushing with anti-plaque toothpaste and flossing twice a day.
This can be especially difficult for those women who experience aggressive morning sickness. In that case, rinse with water or fluoride mouthwash after each episode. This will neutralize corrosive acid that can lead to tooth decay.
Do not skip your dental cleanings during your pregnancy - make them a priority.
Some dental insurances will even cover an extra cleaning during pregnancy, to help keep you and baby healthy.
Our wish is for you and your baby to be as healthy as possible. Please come visit us if you haven’t already. Congratulations again on your new bundle of joy!