If you or someone you love is pregnant, you likely know how important prenatal care is to both the mother and growing baby. Regular checkups and dental visits are recommended for all mothers to be, to help monitor not just the growth of the baby, but the health and well being of the mother, too.
In recent years, a spotlight has been shone on just how important oral health and hygiene is for mothers-to-be, especially because of a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy gingivitis can occur in any expectant mother, whether she has excellent oral hygiene or not. Thankfully this condition usually clears up on its own after pregnancy in women with healthy mouths, but it sometimes can linger and cause bigger problems to not just the mother, but to the baby as well.
Pregnancy gingivitis can lead to periodontitis in the mother, which can cause tissue loss, bone loss and tooth loss. In an unborn baby it can cause premature birth and low birth weight. It can also cause gingivitis or gum disease in the baby- even before the child has developed teeth!
But now, new legislation called “The Oral Health For Moms Act” is being introduced to the senate, to expand coverage for dental services to new and expectant mothers. If passed, this act would allow for more dental visits and care during pregnancy, to help prevent problems with the mother and child caused by oral health issues.
Though the legislation has not yet passed, pregnant women can get a jump start on their oral health by being sure to brush their teeth at least twice per day for at least two minutes at a time. It is recommended that they floss at least once per day, between every tooth, preferably at night time. Finally, it is recommended that they use a mouthwash to help break up dental debris and freshen breath. Regular visits to Dr. Abelar are encouraged as well. He can help monitor the condition of the teeth and gums, and communicate with your doctor if there are any issues with your teeth and gums that could affect the outcome of your pregnancy.