Oral Care for Babies Before Birth
June 7th, 2016
You know that taking care of your teeth and gums is important, but did you know that the state of your dental health can adversely affect your unborn baby? A study that was conducted in 1996 found an alarming connection between pregnant women with gum disease and both early births and low birth weight. It was found that these women were more apt to have babies under 37 weeks and less than 5.5 pounds. In addition, the children of these women were more likely to experience child dental health problems before they reached the age of five.
Why This Happens
Bacteria is present in all of our mouths, but newborn babies don’t have either good or bad bacteria. Bacteria that causes gum disease and tooth decay is harmful and that may be what causes the early births and low birth weight. It is also why dental health in these children is poor.
A baby acquires bacteria in its mouth during its first few months,; and most often, it is from the mother. If the mother’s teeth or gums are in bad shape, the harmful bacteria is transferred to the baby and his new teeth are at risk.
What To Do
Make sure your teeth and gums are in good condition while you are pregnant. Pregnancy itself often causes problems like extra acid from morning sickness, gum disease from hormonal changes and dry mouth.
All these can adversely affect teeth, so it is essential to maintain regularly scheduled dental visits during your pregnancy.
Once your baby arrives, he should first visit a dentist at around six months .Before then, get him used to having his gums touched so transitioning to brushing his teeth will be easier, and eventually he will be able to brush his own. Your good dental health will give your baby a healthy head start.