Your Child’s Teeth: Helpful tips for parents and caregivers

June 6, 2022

Take Care of Yourself Before Your Baby Arrives

Keep your own teeth and gums healthy

While you are pregnant, continue to see your dentist regularly for oral exams and teeth cleanings. It is generally safe to have dental treatment during pregnancy.

It’s important for your own health as well as for your child’s to have a healthy mouth before your child is born. A wide variety of bacteria live in your mouth, which is normal. When certain types of bacteria outgrow the others, this can lead to gum disease or tooth decay. Pregnancy can make your gums more sensitive to plaque, the sticky film of bacteria on your teeth. Your gums may become red and tender. They may bleed easily when you brush your teeth. This condition is an early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis.

Gingivitis is common in pregnant women, and it can lead to more serious diseases of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Your dentist may recommend that you get your teeth cleaned more often during your pregnancy.

You can lower your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease by brushing your teeth twice a day and cleaning between your teeth daily.

Eat a healthy diet

What you eat during pregnancy affects the growth of your developing baby-including their teeth. Your baby’s teeth begin to develop between months 3 and 6 of pregnancy. So, it’s important that you take in enough nutrients, especially calcium, protein, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and D.

Be sure to get enough calcium in your diet for you and your baby by having at least 3 servings of dairy products or other calcium-rich foods each day. Or, your obstetrician (OB/GYN) may recommend that you take calcium pills.

You do not lose calcium from your teeth during pregnancy. Your diet-not your teeth-provides the calcium your baby needs.

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