Dental Health and Pregnancy
Did you know that a baby’s teeth begin to develop while still in the womb? It’s true. At some point between the third and sixth months of pregnancy, a baby’s teeth start to develop. They won’t protrude through the gums until later, but they are still developing while mom is carrying the child.
For this reason, dentists often stress the importance of making smart decisions while pregnant that will set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
Most importantly, pregnant women need to ensure that they get enough nutrients in their diet. Vitamins A, C, and D, along with protein, iron, calcium, and phosphorus are especially important, both for mom’s health and baby’s. Here are some tips from National Maternal and Child Oral Health Policy Center to help you make healthy eating choices.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits; vegetables; whole-grain products such as cereals, breads or crackers; and dairy products like milk, cheese, cottage cheese or unsweetened yogurt.
- For snacks, choose foods low in sugar such as fruits, vegetables, cheese and unsweetened yogurt.
- If you have trouble with nausea, try eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day.
- Drink water or milk instead of juice, fruit-flavored drinks or soft drinks.
- Drink water throughout the day, especially between meals and snacks. Drink fluoridated water (via a community fluoridated water source) or if you prefer bottled water, drink water that contains fluoride.
- To reduce the risk of birth defects, get 600 micrograms of folic acid each day throughout your pregnancy. Take a dietary supplement of folic acid and eat foods high in folate and foods fortified with folic acids, including:
- Asparagus, broccoli and leafy green vegetables such as lettuce and spinach
- Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
- Papaya, tomato juice, oranges or orange juice, strawberries, cantaloupe and bananas
- Grain products fortified with folic acid (breads, cereals, cornmeal, flour, pasta, white rice.)