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Oral Health and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very important time in a woman’s life. While taking care of general health is important during this time, oral health care is equally important for the well-being of the mother and the child.

Good oral habits during pregnancy not only help prevent problems during pregnancy, they also benefit the health of the unborn child.

Teeth begin developing in the fetus between the third and sixth month of pregnancy. The American dental association recommends eating a balanced diet during this time. The diet should include foods rich in calcium, protein, phosphorous , vitamin A, C and D. A variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy will help achieve the required nutritional goal. Drinking fluoridated water (via community fluoridated water) is good and helps prevent cavities.

Women who are pregnant should be counselled about importance of oral health during pregnancy. In fact, dental care during this time is not only safe and effective but it is also essential for combating adverse effects of oral diseases.

Dentists have the ability to maintain the oral health of expectant mothers by treating the conditions that are common during pregnancy.

One of the common conditions include ‘pregnancy gingivitis‘ which is no different than gingivitis and is inflammation of the gums caused due to plaque buildup.

Another condition is ‘Pregnancy Tumor‘ which is not cancerous but is so called as it appears as a growth in the gums. It is usually painless and bleeds on touching and most of the times disappears after the child is born.

Proper oral health is also important for the nutritional intake of the expectant mother which is important for the growth of the child.

Exercising good oral hygiene routine by brushing twice daily with fluoridated tooth paste, flossing and using mouth wash can be of great value in preventing any oral disease during pregnancy.

The general dentist and the hygienist should be able to guide by explaining the proper way of brushing and oral care.

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Author: Dr. Aruna Krishnamurthi

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Dr Aruna is a general dentist in the greater Seattle area. She is a mother of two young girls. Apart from dentistry, she is passionate about cooking and topics related to kids education. She spends her free time in volunteering activities and outdoor activities.

One thought on “Oral Health and Pregnancy

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