Happy Mother’s Day – The Gift of a Healthy Smile

Posted & filed under Children's Oral Health and Fluoride, Fluoride and Public Health, Fluoride, Oral Health, and Access to Care.

Dental Care During Pregnancy is Safe and Important for WomenWhen a woman finds out she is pregnant it is hard for her to envision her baby, let alone her baby’s teeth. She has visions of rocking him to sleep, feeding him, and maybe even reading him a book, but a thought about the first time she brushes his teeth or takes him to the dentist probably hasn’t crossed her mind. A pregnant mother knows that her health has a great impact on the health of her baby. That’s why health professionals tell moms to eat healthy food, quit smoking, reduce stress, exercise, and get prenatal care, but rarely do they talk much about her teeth and the impact her oral health can have on her baby. Some mothers even think that poor oral health goes along with pregnancy and losing a tooth is something that happens as part of the natural course of having a child.

With a new infographic, Dental Care During Pregnancy Is Safe and Important, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Dental Health Project are trying to change that perception. It’s time that doctors and others who see pregnant women add “take care of your teeth, use fluoride, and see a dentist” to the list of things they recommend to stay healthy during pregnancy.

If a mother does these things, she will be reducing the chance that she’ll develop gum disease that may be linked to low birth weight or preterm birth, and the possibility of passing cavity causing bacteria on to her newborn. She will also be reinforcing or establishing oral hygiene routines that she can teach to her child. Children with mothers who have tooth decay are 3X more likely to have it too.

In celebration of Mother’s Day and National Women’s Health Week we hope you will share this infographic with pregnant mothers and the people who care for them.