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Baby Your Teeth - What Every Expectant Mother Should Know

The health of a mother has a lot to do with the health of a new baby. That's why mothers-to-be should take special care of their teeth during pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations associated with being pregnant can exaggerate some dental disorders, and recent studies have even shown a link between gum disease and premature and low birth-weight babies.

One of the most common oral problems during pregnancy is gingivitis. This condition results from plaque, the invisible, sticky layer of harmful bacteria that forms on your teeth. If it is not removed, it can irritate gums, making them red, tender, and likely to bleed easily.

Hormonal increases in expectant mothers intensify the way gum tissues react to the irritant in plaque.  There is increasing evidence that the bacteria responsible for cavities can be transferred from mother to infant.  Plaque control and a cavity free mouth is the best defence.

Some people believe that a tooth is lost for every pregnancy. But it's decay and gum disease that cause teeth to fall out, not repeated pregnancies! Each time you eat, acid attacks your tooth enamel for about twenty minutes. So if you're snacking throughout the day, your teeth are under acid assault all day long.

What you eat during your pregnancy can also affect the development of your unborn child's teeth. You should take sufficient amounts of vitamin A, C, D, protein, calcium and phosphorus, especially from your third to sixth month of pregnancy.

It's best to schedule elective dental appointments during the second trimester of pregnancy, although regular checkups and cleanings should be kept on schedule. Morning sickness usually happens in the first trimester and many women have difficulty sitting in one position for very long during the final months of pregnancy.

Remember - good dental health care will give your child a good foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. It's never too soon to start!

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