May 2, 2008
by Oral Health
Research suggests there may be an association between maternal gum disease and pre-term birth and low birth weight babies. In addition, a recent study says that pregnant women with gum disease may be more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
“Good oral health habits are an important part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Sally Cram, D.D.S., ADA consumer advisor and periodontist in Washington, D.C. “If you are planning a pregnancy, schedule a dental checkup for a cleaning. If you are pregnant, continue your regular dental visits. Be sure to inform your dentist if you are pregnant or suspect you might be pregnant.”
In addition to regular dental visits, the ADA recommends eating a well-balanced diet, maintaining daily oral hygiene by brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth at least once a day with floss or an interdental cleaner.
Good oral health habits are not only valuable during pregnancy, but after pregnancy as well because cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from mother to child through contact such as sharing utensils or kissing.
For more information about pregnancy and oral health, please visit: http://www.ada.org/public/topics/pregnancy_faq.asp